One way we learn about a disease is looking at connections across other diseases. Parkinson's shares a genetic connection to Gaucher disease, a disorder in which fatty substances build up and cause enlarged organs. Mutations in the GBA gene can cause either disease.
A recent podcast from the National Gaucher Foundation focuses on the connection between Gaucher and Parkinson's. Roy Alcalay, MD, MSc, assistant professor at Columbia University Medical Center, has received numerous grants from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to study GBA and other genetic mutations in Parkinson's. In this podcast, he discusses the role of GBA and how scientists are working on new treatments against its dysfunction.
Get Involved in Research
A number of studies are enrolling people with GBA mutations -- sometimes with or without Parkinson's disease -- to learn more about the genetics of disease and develop new treatments. Interested? Watch our video on participating in genetic research then consider one of The Michael J. Fox Foundation-sponsored studies that are testing for mutations in the GBA gene.
- The Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative study offers free genetic testing and counseling to people who fit certain eligibility criteria. Take a short survey to see if you may be eligible.
- Through a collaboration with personal genetics company 23andMe, eligible participants in the online Fox Insight study can access the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service at no cost. Enrolled volunteers can also receive complimentary genetic counseling. Register today.
If you have Parkinson's and know you have a GBA mutation, you are a candidate for a drug trial recruiting now. Learn more.