Podcast Episode 73: Genetics and PD: What do we know so far?

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New tools in genetics are providing researchers with insights into diseases never before obtainable. For Parkinson’s disease (PD), research promises to reveal specific genes and mutations that contribute to the risk of developing PD as well as mechanisms by which these genes act. Along these lines, the Parkinson’s Foundation has launched PD GENEration, a flagship initiative that offers free genetic testing and genetic counseling for people with PD. Participating and contributing one’s genetic data, DNA, and blood can help scientists advance their understanding of the disease, improve research and care, accelerate enrollment in clinical trials, and aid in the development of better treatments.

The PD GENEration initiative is another step in the development of personalized medicine. Participants receive results of their genetic testing as it pertains to PD, which may allow them to better manage their disease in the future.

In this podcast Dr. Martha Nance, medical director of the Struthers Parkinson’s Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, talks about some of the genes related to PD that are under investigation, how they work, and what their effects are, both biologically and in terms of how they may influence the course of the disease.

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About This Episode

Released: January 28, 2020

Martha Nance, MD

Marth NanceMartha Nance is a Neurologist and Geneticist, who has served as the Medical Director of Struthers Parkinson's Center, a Parkinson's Foundation Center of Excellence in Minneapolis, MN, since 2000. In addition to her clinical work, she is involved in clinical research in Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, and serves on the Steering Committee for PDGENEration, a Parkinson's Foundation trial of genetic testing in Parkinson's disease. In 2019, she was recognized for her leadership in Huntington's disease research with the Huntington Study Group's Lifetime Achievement Award.

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For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.

For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episode "How Clinical Studies Help People with PD".


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