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Gene candidate mapped for late-onset Parkinson's disease
  
By
Edward R. Winstead


Scientists at Decode Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland, have identified a gene that may contribute to late-onset Parkinson's disease. The researchers used DNA from 51 Icelandic families with the disease to map the gene to a region of chromosome 1. The finding was announced recently at the American Society for Human Genetics meeting in San Diego.

The genetic component of late-onset Parkinson's disease is unclear to researchers. Last December, in The New England Journal of Medicine, a Decode team reported that late-onset Parkinson's "has a genetic component as well as an environmental component." The researchers found that individuals with Parkinson's disease—including 560 individuals with the late-onset disease—were "significantly more related to each other than were subjects in matched groups of controls, and this relatedness extended beyond the nuclear family."

The study involved computational analyses of genealogical information on nearly 700,000 Icelanders dating back 11 centuries.

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deCODE locates first gene linked to late-onset Parkinson's disease. Press release, deCODE Genetics, Reykjavik, Iceland (October 23, 2001).
 
Sveinbjörnsdóttir, S. et al. Familial aggregation of Parkinson's disease in Iceland. N Engl J Med 343, 1765-1770 (December 14, 2000).
 

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