The identification of six genes associated with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease is reported in a study published online this week in Nature Genetics. The results point to an important role for gene regulation in the brain for the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Many genes have been associated with Parkinson’s disease, but more are estimated to contribute to the risk of developing the disease. Andrew Singleton and colleagues combined all existing genotype data on Parkinson’s disease to find new associations that were previously missed because of small sample sizes. They used genetic data from 13,708 Parkinson’s disease patients and 95,282 control individuals. The researchers found 28 gene regions significantly associated with the disease, six of which had not been linked to Parkinson’s disease previously. The findings were verified in an independent sample of over 5,000 Parkinson’s cases and 5,000 controls.