THE RESULTS of a worldwide study into Parkinson’s could help revolutionise how the degenerative disease is treated.
The major study, part-funded by Parkinson’s UK, looked at which variations in genes increase the risk of people developing the incurable brain condition.
Researchers looked at DNA from more than 100,000 people with and without the condition and identified a further six sections of DNA to the 22 already known to increase the risk of Parkinson’s.
It could help scientists to find new pathways involved in brain cell death and that could in turn lead to new drugs which could eventually prevent or treat the condition.
Claire Bale, research communications manager at Parkinson’s UK, which helped to fund the study, said: “This study is an important step in our mission to stop Parkinson’s in its tracks.
“We know people develop Parkinson’s when nerve cells in their brain die.
“But we still don’t have a complete picture of the genetic fingerprints that are putting people at higher risk of developing the condition.
“We’re excited to see that this study has unearthed more genetic clues about who is at risk.
“The results could unearth completely new ways to tackle the condition, so we can stop the death of precious brain cells once and for all.”
The findings have been published in Nature Genetics.