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Alzheimer's and Parkinson's May Not Share Common Genetic Risk

Update Date: Aug 05, 2013 04:01 PM EDT

A new study reveals that Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease do not appear to share common genetic risk.

Lead researcher Valentina Moskvina, Ph.D., of the Cardiff University School of Medicine, Wales, United Kingdom, and her team examined the genetic overlap between Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Moskvina and her team used data sets from the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the United States to perform a combined genome-wide association analysis (GWA).

The genome-wide association analysis study of Alzheimer's disease included 3,177 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 7,277 control patients, and the genome-wide association analysis for Parkinson's disease included 5,333 patients with Parkinson's disease and 12,298 control patients.

The findings revealed no significant evidence that supported the presence of loci (location of gene) that were associated with increased risk for both Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

"Our findings therefore imply that loci that increase the risk of both PD and AD are not widespread and that the pathological overlap could instead be 'downstream' of the primary susceptibility genes that increase the risk of each disease," researchers wrote in the study,

The findings are published in the journal JAMA Neurology

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