Have we discovered the genetic mutation linked to increased risk for early-onset Parkinson’s?

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Parkinson’s disease is caused by the deterioration of nerve cells in the brain, but it’s still not clear what causes these cells to deteriorate in some people and not others. A new study has found a specific gene mutation linked to the early onset of Parkinson’s disease. The team hope the finding could help them better determine an individual’s risk for the disease and develop personalized medical care for people with a family history of the disease.

The study, which is now published online in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, found that a gene which produces dopamine in the brain appears to accelerate the onset of Parkinson’s disease in Caucasians, particularly in individuals under 50. For example, the average Caucasian with one bad version of this gene developed Parkinson’s symptoms five years earlier and had a 23 percent increased risk for the disease, according to a news release by Iowa State University researchers.

In addition, the Mayo Clinic reports that exposure to certain toxins and environmental factors can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s later on in life, although this risk is also relatively small…

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Early-Onset Parkinson’s Causes: Genetic Mutation Associated With Increased Risk For Disease Development

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