Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine will study individuals with genetic mutations associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) as part of the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a large-scale biomarker study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

As one of one of 32 clinical sites participating in the study, Emory will enroll participants with a known mutation of the LRRK or SNCA [alpha-synuclein] gene. Previous research has shown these mutations are associated with Parkinson's disease, and account for a greater number of PD cases among certain ethnic populations and families, notably the LRRK2 mutation in those of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish, Basque and North African Berber descent. The insight researchers gain from this study will fortify current efforts to develop a disease-modifying therapy, something that currently eludes the field.

Read more