Study Rationale: Social and medical factors can affect the rates of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and how the disorder manifests in different individuals. These factors may carry different weight in populations of different race or ethnicity. Latinos are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, but not much is known about whether PD manifests differently in this group, and if so, what are the potential reasons that drive these differences.
Hypothesis: This study explores whether Latino ethnicity is a factor that affects PD in terms of its frequency, symptoms and progression. We also examine whether social or medical factors that are more or less common in Latinos could underlie these differences.
Study Design: The project will be carried out using information that has already been collected on people with PD from three different sources in California, including volunteers recruited in the communities of the Central Valley and data gathered by the UCLA Health System and the California Department of Public Health. This data will be analyzed using modern statistical techniques to determine whether and how PD differs in Latinos compared to Whites or other races/ethnicities.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease: Increasing our understanding of how PD manifests in different ethnic populations, and the reasons behind these differences, can improve how PD is diagnosed and treated.
Next Steps for Development: The knowledge generated can help inform doctors who take care of diverse groups of individuals with PD, as well as the government and others that are responsible for public health policies to improve the overall health of different populations.