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Ashkenazi Jews and Parkinson’s Disease

Ashkenazi Jews have a higher likelihood of carrying one of two genes that have been identified in the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) is an ongoing study, supported by the NHS, investigating these gene mutations within the Jewish community with a view to improving understanding of the disease and developing new treatments and strategies to prevent the onset.

It is important to note that not everyone who has the gene mutation will go on to develop Parkinson’s Disease, and the research is trying to understand why some people do go on to develop the illness and others don’t.

The study is looking for Ashkenazi Jews who have Parkinson’s Disease or who have a relative with Parkinson’s Disease to volunteer for this study. It is free to participate, either meeting in person with a researcher at Charing Cross Hospital (expenses reimbursed) or registering on the website and a saliva kit will be posted out from the US.

Free genetic counselling is offered to review the test results.

You can read more about the study in this recent article from The Jewish Chronicle

If you have any queries or wish to register your interest, please contact Gemma Loebenberg –

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