Immune system gene linked to Parkinson`s

London: A gene associated with the immune system may play a role in developing Parkinson`s disease, scientists said, marking a possible advance in the search for effective treatments.

A long-term study involved a global consortium, including Johns Hopkins researchers from the Center for Inherited Disease Research who performed genome-wide association studies on more than 4,000 DNA samples — half from unrelated patients with Parkinson`s and half from healthy "controls."

The team confirmed that a gene in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region was strongly linked with Parkinson`s disease; this region contains a large number of genes related to immune system function.

The new data bolster previous studies that hinted about a role for infections, inflammation and autoimmunity in Parkinson`s disease.

This genetic finding demonstrates that inflammation isn`t simply a result of having the disease, but somehow is involved as a player in its origin.

"This is an exciting finding from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) which is completely hypothesis-independent and bias-free, based solely on looking at the whole genome and finding out what genes might be related to Parkinson`s," says Kimberly Doheny, assistant professor, McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; assistant director of the Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR); and director of the CIDR Genotyping Lab, Johns Hopkins University.



By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link