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Parkinson's breakthrough 'provides new therapeutic targets'

Parkinson's breakthrough 'provides new therapeutic targets'
15th July 2011

Two independent research studies have uncovered a new genetic mutation associated with an inherited form of Parkinson's disease.

The studies, both of which were published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, identified the same vacuolar protein-sorting-associated protein 35 (VPS35) mutation in two separate families with a high incidence of familial parkinsonism.

Other pathogenic mutations have already been detected in previous studies, which have provided targets for therapeutic intervention.

Dr Strom and Dr Zimprich, research leaders, said: "A single variant in the VPS35 gene was found in all affected family members investigated, was absent in general population samples, and was detected in two additional PD families."

This comes after revelations in the journal Archives of Neurology reported that people with Parkinson's disease are still being prescribed with antipsychotic drugs in US hospitals.

Worryingly, it is believed that antipsychotic medications can in fact exacerbate Parkinson's disease.

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