Emily Johnson
Thu, Aug 24, 2023 7:45 PM

Researchers Uncover Genetic Variant Linked to Parkinson's Disease in Africans

HealthEarn Max 30 Coins💰 Get coins immediately after reading this article

Researchers Uncover Genetic Variant Linked to Parkinson's Disease in Africans
Researchers from the University of Lagos and international collaborators have discovered a genetic variant that increases the risk of Parkinson's Disease (PD) in Africans and African admixed populations. This groundbreaking research finding could revolutionize the treatment of Parkinson's Disease in these populations.

Lagos - A team of researchers from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), in collaboration with international partners, has made a significant breakthrough in the study of Parkinson's Disease (PD) by uncovering a genetic variant that increases the risk of the disease in Africans and African admixed populations. This discovery is expected to address the underrepresentation of these populations in PD research and pave the way for targeted treatments.

The research team, which includes members of the Nigeria Parkinson Disease Research (NPDR) network and the International Parkinson's Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC)-Africa, worked closely with institutions such as University College London, the National Institutes of Health in the US, and 23andMe. Funding for this study was provided by the Michael J. Fix Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the Global Parkinson's Genetics Programme (GP2).

The discovery of a genetic variant on the GBA1 gene is a significant step forward in understanding PD in African populations. While further research is necessary to decipher the exact mechanisms of this variant, initial findings suggest that it leads to decreased activity of the glucocerebrosidase (GCase) enzyme, similar to previously known mutations in GBA1.

According to Professor Njideka Okubadejo, the leader of UNILAG's NPDR network, this finding brings us closer to a future where Parkinson's Disease research and treatment prioritize all individuals affected by the condition. The collaborative efforts of the UNILAG team and their national and international partners played a vital role in the success of this breakthrough.

The Global Parkinson's Genetics Programme (GP2), part of the Aligning Science Across Parkinson's (ASAP) initiative, aims to expand global genetics research in traditionally underrepresented populations. The programme, funded by the Sergey Brin Family Foundation and implemented by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, collaborates with over 140 cohorts worldwide to generate and share data that uncovers novel insights into PD.

Professor Folasade Ogunsola, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, applauded the UNILAG team's contribution to the GP2 project and the impact it has had on this latest discovery. This achievement further solidifies the University of Lagos' reputation as a fast-migrating Future-Ready institution with significant contributions across various fields, including Science.

This groundbreaking research finding holds the promise of advancing our understanding of Parkinson's Disease in African and African admixed populations and developing tailored approaches to treatment. It exemplifies the power of collaboration and underscores the importance of including diverse populations in scientific research.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-24 News

More detailed, more comprehensive, fresher news, please visit OOO NEWS.

Share content to earn coins