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Genome-wide association study on Parkinson's disease finds public home at NIH
Date:3/4/2008

Data from one of the first genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which focused on Parkinsons diseases and was funded in part by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research (MJFF), is now being made available to researchers through the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), both of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NHGRI hopes to speed up research by making previously unavailable GWAS data sets publicly available to the research community.

The study, conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in collaboration with scientists at Perlegen Sciences, Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., was the first genome-wide association study applied to Parkinsons disease. It was funded under MJFFs Linked Efforts to Accelerate Parkinsons Solutions (LEAPS) initiative.

Until now, the individual-level data from this study had been available only to a few researchers, said Teri Manolio, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NHGRI Office of Population Genomics. This is the first orphan data set NHGRI is adopting to make public through NCBI, but it certainly will not be the last. We appreciate the willingness of the LEAPS researchers and patients to share their data with the rest of the research community and hope it will increase our understanding of Parkinsons disease.

The raw data from a GWAS study is frequently useful to other researchers who may combine it with their own data to improve the analytical power and even make new discoveries. But such information may not be deposited in unregulated public databases because the data typically contain details that could be used to identify study volunteers, potentially violating their privacy. In order to protect the volunteers privacy, NIH requires the data submitters to remove identifying information (names, social security numbers, etc.). In addition, researchers who want to use the data must ask for permissi
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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