QIMR Berghofer conducting the Australian Parkinson’s Genetic Study

Researchers at QIMR Berghofer are undertaking ground-breaking research to help identify genetic factors influencing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

It’s hoped the study will inform the development of much-needed treatments to prevent, slow or stop the condition which affects over 100,000 Australians.1

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurological condition in Australia but remains one of the least understood in terms of its cause. It has a total financial cost to the economy per annum of over $775.4 million.1

Headed by Professor Nick Martin and Dr Miguel Renteria, the Australian Parkinson’s Genetics Study will aim to crack the genetic code of Parkinson’s by helping to identify the hundreds of genetic variants that influence a person’s risk of developing the condition and its various symptoms.

Understanding how genes are implicated in the disease process can provide insights and revolutionise future research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of the disease and its progression, and enable the development of new, and more effective, personalised treatments.

The study, with funding from the Shake It Up Australia Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation, will also contribute towards the largest study of Parkinson’s genetics ever undertaken – the Global Parkinson’s Genetic Program (GP2: https://www.gp2.org/).

The researchers aim to recruit 10,000 Australian residents (male or female) who have been diagnosed with, and medically treated for, Parkinson’s disease. Study participants will be showing generosity and solidarity in supporting others living with this disease and will be making a genuine contribution to the future diagnosis, management, and treatment of the condition.

Lead researcher, Professor Nick Martin, says; “In the long run, we hope that the findings of this study will result in knowledge that informs the development of new therapies to prevent, slow and stop Parkinson’s. Understanding how genes are implicated in the disease process can provide insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to Parkinson’s onset and progression and highlight new therapeutic targets for more effective treatments.

“Medical breakthroughs often require years of dedicated research and tend to rely strongly on the availability of accurate, real-patient data. The APGS has real potential to do this.”

1 Source: Deloitte Access Economics, Living with Parkinson’s Disease 2011

The APGS will be open to recruitment of participants until July 2023.
Potential participants can click here to find out more.

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