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Funded Studies

Assessing Genetic Predisposition to Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Young-onset and Late-onset Parkinson’s Disease

Study Rationale: Constipation is a common, nonmotor manifestation of Parkinson’s disease (PD) that can impact the quality of life of people with the condition. Yet little is known about the genetic predisposition to developing gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with young-onset and late-onset PD or about the environmental risk factors for constipation.

Hypothesis: We predict that the relationship between constipation and genetic and environmental risk factors will be different for young-onset and late-onset PD.

Study Design: For this study, we will use clinical and genetic data that has been collected by the Fox Insight Initiative. We will begin by assessing the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with young-onset versus late-onset PD. We will then search for any association between environmental risk factors or gene mutation with gastrointestinal symptoms, especially constipation, in young-onset and late-onset PD.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease: Our study will identify a possible subgroup of individuals that have a different prognosis or disease progression, and it will help us to better understand and differentiate young- versus late-onset PD.

Next Steps for Development: If successful, this study will serve to prepare a larger research initiative exploring nonmotor symptoms, especially gastrointestinal, in young-onset and late-onset PD. These studies will enable clinicians to provide more individualized care and better prognoses for people with PD.


  • Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD

    Rochester, ME United States

  • Adil E. Bharuch, MBBS, MD

    Rochester, ME United States

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