LRRK2 Gene May Link Crohn’s and Parkinson’s Among Ashkenazi Jews, Study Finds

LRRK2 Gene May Link Crohn’s and Parkinson’s Among Ashkenazi Jews, Study Finds
Ashkenazi Jews with Crohn's disease are more likely to have mutations on the LRRK2 gene — a known cause of inherited Parkinson's disease  — say researchers with the Icahn School of Medicine at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. The study, “Functional variants in the LRRK2 gene confer shared effects on risk for Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease,” appeared in the journal Science Translational Medicine, This finding may help identify patients at risk, improve knowledge of Crohn's disease, and promote the development of target therapies for this specific gene. "Crohn's disease is a complex disorder with multiple genes and environmental factors involved, which disproportionally affects individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry," genetics professor Inga Peter, the study's senior author, said in a Mount Sinai news release. "Identifying genetic mutations associated with disease risk is an effective way to better understand disease mechanisms, identify individuals at risk, and develop novel drug targets to treat the disease." The team analyzed DNA samples collected from 50 Ashkenazi Jews (or those of Eastern European descent) with Crohn’s disease. This analysis retrieved 4,277 new mutations, which the researchers studied further in 2,066 Crohn’s cases and 3,633 healthy volunteers. They identified two mutat
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