GENES ASSOCIATED WITH ONSET AGE OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE IDENTIFIED
Posted Oct 14 2009 10:04pm
Parkinson’s Disease is usually found in patients 60 years of age or older. While younger patients have been diagnosed with the disease, we also know that persons as young as 20 to 30 years old have also been diagnosed. We call that “Early Onset” when the patient is under the age of 50.
Young or Early Onset patients struggle with the same symptoms of rigidity, slowness of movement, and tremors. Since there is not cure for Parkinson’s Disease these young people are in the prime of their lives, working, raising their children and yet, dealing with a disease that can be painful and depressing.
For young people dealing with Parkinson’s Disease can be exhausting and troublesome. It’s encouraging that scientists like those at the Boston Univeristy School of Medicine are researching Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease. It’s hard enough for our aging population to deal with this disease. But seeing young people in the same struggle not only hope for a cure but for answers to their dilemna is a great reason for scientists to continue research into this facet of the disease.
Researchers have identified genes that contribute to the onset of Parkinson’s Disease at an early age. These genes are different than the genes that have been identified for the susceptibility of developing the disease.
Scientists at Boston University School of Medicine made this discovery while analyzing the data of a genetic study in a sample of 857 unrelated familial PD cases. That data was combined with data from previous genome-wide associated study of 440 idiopathic PD cases.
According to the joint lead author, Jeanne C. Laturelle, DSc, from the Department of Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, “Important distinctions can be made between those genes that influence susceptibility for developing disease, and the genetic modifiers that influence onset age.”
Thank God scientists like these in Boston are working to identify these areas of Early Onset and our susceptibility to developing this disease. I pray for their continue funding and clarity in their research.