Study Finds No Link Between Suspected Susceptibility Genes and Parkinson's Risk in General Population
“With these results in hand, we can feel quite confident that no single common variation in our
That is because these 13 SNPs, as well as others, could still be found to interact with other genetic and/or environmental factors and play some role in PD risk. To allow researchers to mine the data for further insight into the underlying genetics of PD, the dataset from the prior study and the follow-up study will be made available online.
“The Foundation was able to use pre-existing consortia already in place to organize and complete the validation study within a year of the original study,” said Deborah W. Brooks, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “There would have been a great deal of excitement among both patients and researchers if the 13 SNPs had been validated as new avenues of inquiry. But this major attempt to validate genetic risk seen in the first genome-wide study of Parkinson’s disease has still done a great deal of good in terms of informing and unifying future steps.”
In 2003, MJFF funded a large-scale study through its LEAPS initiative to survey the entire human genome for SNPs potentially associated with greater risk for PD. That study, led by
The Foundation organized and launched the validation study in fall 2005 through the existing Edmond J. Safra Global Genetics Consortia, the Foundation’s network of geneticists committed to sharing their population data on Parkinson’s disease. The consortia aggregated more than 12,000
Additionally, a separate study also published online by Lancet Neurology today that looked at almost twice as many SNPs as the original study from Dr. Maraganore found no single SNP to contribute greatly to PD risk. These data are also being made available online for research use.
“Genetics continues to be a major focus for the PD field,” concluded Brian Fiske, PhD, the Foundation’s associate director of research programs. “Much of what we know about possible underlying mechanisms of PD cause and pathogenesis has come through studies of genes linked to the disease through studies of families with a clear history of the disease. However, the role of genetics in the larger, general, population of sporadic PD remains unclear. The results of these recent large-scale studies imply that the answer will be complex, and the subject of vigorous study and debate.”