Five new gene clues to Parkinson's found2nd February 2011
The largest study carried out so far has discovered five new genes which play a role in Parkinson's disease.
The newly discovered genes increases the total number of known genes which increase susceptibility to the disease to 11.
The study, which was published in The Lancet, could allow scientists to create a cure or treatment for the disease in the future.
Parkinson's disease is suffered by around 120,000 people in the UK and symptoms usually begin in people over 50 years of age.
The symptoms can include slower movements, shaking and stiff muscles. The disease is caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain.
The study involved researchers from six countries who examined genetic differences between the DNA of 12,000 people with Parkinson's and 21,000 people who did not have the disease.
The researchers discovered 11 "risky" genes, of which five had not been previously identified.
Professor Nick Wood, from London's Institute of Neurology, one of the lead researchers of the study, said: "Discovering five new genes is an exciting step forward and will help us understand more about why and how nerve cells die."
"These findings significantly add to the knowledge base of the increasingly complex picture of the molecules that can cause Parkinson's."
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Title: Five new gene clues to Parkinson's found
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 17420
Date Added: 2nd Feb 2011