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Scientists target Parkinson's genes

5th January 2006

Researchers in Britain and Belgium have found 570 genes linked to Parkinson's Disease.

The findings, published in the Neurogenetics journal, found that the genes behaved abnormally during the onset of the condition. It is hoped that the research will help scientists discover triggers for the disease and possible avenues for treatments.

To find the genes, lab chips known as microarrays were used to analyse brain behaviour in 25 individuals with Parkinson's disease who had recently passed away. The chips pick out active genes when different processes occur.

"This research shows there are a considerable number of genes associated with the development of Parkinson's, potentially providing new clues for how to treat this disease," said researcher Dr Linda Moran of Imperial College London.

Colleague Dawn Duke added: "In addition to identifying those genes linked with the development of Parkinson's, this research has also shown that many of these genes were especially active in Parkinson's brains."

She speculated that by limited the genes activity development of Parkinson's could be halted.