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The genetic architecture of Parkinson's disease.

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Published:10th Sep 2019
Author: Blauwendraat C, Nalls MA, Singleton AB.
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Ref.:Lancet Neurol. 2019. pii: S1474-4422(19)30287-X.
The genetic architecture of Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder for which both rare and common genetic variants contribute to disease risk, onset, and progression. Mutations in more than 20 genes have been associated with the disease, most of which are highly penetrant and often cause early onset or atypical symptoms. Although our understanding of the genetic basis of Parkinson's disease has advanced considerably, much remains to be done. Further disease-related common genetic variability remains to be identified and the work in identifying rare risk alleles has only just begun. To date, genome-wide association studies have identified 90 independent risk-associated variants. However, most of them have been identified in patients of European ancestry and we know relatively little of the genetics of Parkinson's disease in other populations. We have a limited understanding of the biological functions of the risk alleles that have been identified, although Parkinson's disease risk variants appear to be in close proximity to known Parkinson's disease genes and lysosomal-related genes. In the past decade, multiple efforts have been made to investigate the genetic architecture of Parkinson's disease, and emerging technologies, such as machine learning, single-cell RNA sequencing, and high-throughput screens, will improve our understanding of genetic risk.

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