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Parkinson's disease gene identified with help of Mennonite family: UBC-VCH research
Date:6/26/2012

l Seminary Canada, a community leader and spokesperson for the family that participated in the study.

"The family involved is very grateful for the research team's respectful, collaborative and sensitive approach, and we hope that this enables the discovery of more effective treatments, and hopefully eventually a cure."

The discovery resulted from a longstanding collaboration with neurology colleagues, Ali and Alex Rajput at the University of Saskatchewan and Silke Cresswell and Jon Stoessl at UBC. The research team also includes scientists from McGill University, the Mayo Clinic in Florida, and St. Olav's Hospital in Norway.

Farrer shared the discovery last week with the medical community as part of his keynote speech in Dublin today at the 16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (Plenary Session V: Is it time to change how we define Parkinson's disease?) Details of the study was presented at the conference and is being submitted for publication.

"The identification of DNAJC13 will certainly be of interest to people around the world who trace their family history to the nineteenth-century Mennonite colonies in Russia, and who have family members suffering from Parkinson's disease," Guenther adds.

BACKGROUND | New Parkinson's gene identified

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common chronic neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Parkinson's disease affects more than one million people in North America and more than four million people worldwide. The late-onset form is the most common type of PD. The risk of developing late-onset PD increases with age but most patients begin showing symptoms in their late 60s and early 70s.

Once considered a sporadic disease, latest studies have shown genetic components of PD that provide the foundation for neuroscience research and potential treatment tar
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Contact: Brian Lin
brian.lin@ubc.ca
604-822-2234
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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