Thursday, January 26, 2006

Gene causes Parkinson's in Ashkenazi Jews

Sobering news for Ashkenazi Jews who have Parkinson's in their family:
Although Parkinson's disease has not generally been regarded as genetic in origin, researchers at Yeshiva University's Einstein College of Medicine and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York have discovered a single gene that is the "major cause" of Parkinson's in Ashkenazi Jews...

The mutation, called G2019S, was detected in 18.3% (22 out of 120) of the Ashkenazi Parkinson's patients, compared with only 1.3% (4 out of 317) of control patients...

The frequency of this mutation among Ashkenazi Parkinson's patients was 15-20 times higher than has been reported among patients of European ancestry in general...

It seems like Parkinson's is yet another disease that can be inherited via a single genetic defect, of which there are already more than 20."

It also shows, he said, that Ashkenazi Jewry began some 1,000 years ago with a few founders, and that their isolation as a community and marriage among themselves amplified the presence of defective genes that cause these diseases.
I have people in my family who suffer from Parkinson's, so this is particularly sobering for me. And it confirms what we have suspected informally for a while, that the link is genetic. It certainly appears to be in my family.


At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Parkinsons said...

Hi, appreciated your mentioning Parkinsons . I'm actually searching like crazy for information about Parkinsons. My aunt had it and I understand there is a genetic connection. Very scary, but hoping for the best .


Post a Comment

<< Home