Rationale – The Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2) will genotype 200,000 volunteers around the world to further understand the genetic architecture of Parkinson’s disease. There is still much to learn about genetic risk factors and the path to further understanding requires working collaboratively and openly sharing data, processes, and results. The Australian Parkinson’s Genetics Study (APGS) hosted by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute aims to make a significant and impactful contribution to GP2.
The etiology of Parkinson’s is complex, with genetic and environmental risk factors contributing to differences in individual susceptibility and progression. For example, age, mood disorders, head injury, and exposure to environmental toxins have been consistently associated with increased PD risk, and mutations in genes such as LRRK2, PINK1, PARK7, and SNCA are linked with familial forms of PD. Genome-wide association studies of idiopathic Parkinson’s have so far identified 90 genomic loci associated with increased risk. However, individually and combined, these loci only explained a small proportion of variance in risk, suggesting there are still hundreds of other genetic risk variants that are yet to be found. Based on experience from genetic studies of other diseases, increasing the number and genetic diversity of both cases and controls in the study are proven ways to increase the number of significant loci and characterise the genetic architecture of the disease.
The APGS aims to recruit 10,000 Australian’s diagnosed with Parkinson’s and stable on medication to the study which opens in April.
Learn more about the trial and how you can get involved