NIH-funded study on key Parkinson’s gene finds a possible new target for monitoring the disease

Release date: 4/11/2014

Statement from the National Parkinson Foundation

While it still needs to be confirmed, long-time leader in the biology of Parkinson’s Ted Dawson, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, an NPF Center of Excellence, has for the first time indentified how the LRRK2 mutation may cause Parkinson’s.  The LRRK2 mutation, technically referred to as the G2019S LRRK2 mutation, is believed to be the most common cause of familial Parkinson’s. For many years, scientists have been working to figure out how the mutation functioned and they have achieved this goal.  Their breakthrough was achieved not in mice, monkeys, or cells but in fruit flies, a novel approach to modeling Parkinson’s that we expect to see emulated elsewhere.  The Johns Hopkins team was able to see how the mutated DNA lead to over production of a protein and link this overproduction to a known disease mechanism.

- Dr. Michael S. Okun, National Medical Director of the National Parkinson Foundation

Read the National Institutes of Health press release.

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