(JTA) — A study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research will investigate a genetic mutation found more often in Ashkenazi Jews.
The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a large-scale biomarker study, is expanding to study individuals with genetic mutations associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Among those mutations is the LRRK2, which accounts for a greater number of Parkinson’s cases among certain ethnic populations and families, notably Jews of Eastern European descent.
The study will enroll 250 people with the LRRK2 mutation and Parkinson’s and a like number with the mutation but without Parkinson’s.
Genetic mutations account for 5 percent to 10 percent of all Parkinson’s cases, but a study of these individuals may reveal disease traits that apply to all Parkinson’s patients.
The Fox Foundation has secured 15 industry partners and co-funding sponsors for the initiative. They include Abbott Laboratories, Biogen, BMS, Covance, Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare, Genentech, GSK, Merck, Pfizer and Roche.