Washington: An international team of researchers, including one of Indian origin, has identified the latest gene associated with typical late-onset Lewy body Parkinson’s disease (PD), with the help of a Canadian Mennonite family of Dutch-German-Russian ancestry.Twelve of the 57 members of the Saskatchewan family who participated in the study, led by human genetic researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health, had previously been diagnosed with PD.UBC Medical Genetics Prof. Matthew Farrer, who led the research, notes that unequivocal confirmation of the gene’s linkage with PD required DNA samples from thousands of patients with PD and healthy individuals.He refers to the new discovery as the “missing link”, as it helps to unify past genetic discoveries in PD.“A breakthrough like this would not be possible without the involvement and support of the Saskatchewan Mennonite family who gave up considerable time, contributed clinical information, donated blood samples, participated in PET imaging studies and, on more than one occasion following the death of an individual, donated brain samples,” Farrer said.
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