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Parkinson’s Study Will Look at Ashkenazi Jewish Genetic Mutation

By: JTA

A study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research will investigate a genetic mutation found more often in Ashkenazi Jews.

The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a large-scale biomarker study, is expanding to study individuals with genetic mutations associated with Parkinson’s disease. Among those mutations is the LRRK2, which accounts for a greater number of Parkinson’s cases among certain ethnic populations and families, notably Jews of Eastern European descent.

The study will enroll 250 people with the LRRK2 mutation and Parkinson’s and a like number with the mutation but without Parkinson’s.

Genetic mutations account for 5 percent to 10 percent of all Parkinson’s cases, but a study of these individuals may reveal disease traits that apply to all Parkinson’s patients.

The Fox Foundation has secured 15 industry partners and co-funding sponsors for the initiative. They include Abbott Laboratories, Biogen, BMS, Covance, Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare, Genentech, GSK, Merck, Pfizer and Roche.

The study will take place at 32 clinical sites around the world.

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