Gene defect linked to accelerated onset of Parkinson’s disease

Written by Martha Powell

A team from the University of Iowa (IA, USA) have discovered that possessing defective copies of a dopamine-associated gene appears to accelerate the onset of Parkinson’s disease in Caucasian individuals. The effect was observed to be particularly marked in adults under 50 years old. The new research, published in Neurobiology of Aging, reported that Caucasians who possessed one defective copy of the gene, GCH1, developed Parkinson’s symptoms 5 years earlier, and had a 23% increased disease risk. However, in young-to-middle aged adults those with the mutation had a 45% increased risk of the disease. GCH1 codes for an enzyme that...

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