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Researchers seek Ashkenazi Jewish volunteers to help find Parkinson’s cure

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 July 2014

Scientists are looking for Ashkenazi Jewish volunteers. Picture: Christopher Futcher

Scientists are looking for Ashkenazi Jewish volunteers. Picture: Christopher Futcher

Christopher Futcher

Researchers hoping to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease are seeking volunteers of Ashkenazi Jewish descent to help identify the role a known genetic mutation has in its formation.

A specific gene, known as LRRK2, has been found in individuals of Eastern European Jewish descent and is linked to the development of the degenerative disorder.

Scientists at Imperial College London are now looking to study sufferers of Parkinson’s with this gene – as well as people who have the gene but not the disease – in an attempt to find out more about the link between the two.

The study is sponsored by The Michael J Fox Foundation, the world’s largest non-profit funder of Parkinson’s research. It is hoped the research will help in the development of new treatments in the future.

Dr Nicola Pavese, co-principal investigator of study at Imperial College London, said: “Although known genetic mutations account for only five to 10 per cent of all Parkinson’s cases, this population can provide invaluable information about the intricacies of the disease for all patients.”

Interested individuals can visit michaeljfox.org/ppmi/genetics, or call 020 3311 1714.

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