In a study from Mater Research and elsewhere, scientists found a previously unknown genetic link between platelets and Parkinson’s Disease.
They analyzed data from large-scale genetic studies to improve understanding of the cause and effect link between blood measures and common brain and mental disorders.
The research came about following reports of associations between a range of different blood measures and the risk of stroke, multiple sclerosis, and depression.
These previous findings sparked interest in developing blood-based biomarkers for common brain disorders, but it was unclear whether there was a genetic basis to these links.
In the current study, the team identified a broad landscape of genetic overlap between blood cell measures and 11 neurological and psychiatric disorders.
One notable finding was a cause-and-effect relationship between increased platelet distribution width and risk for Parkinson’s Disease.
This suggests that platelet parameters could be potential biomarkers for the early detection of Parkinson’s Disease.
The team also identified numerous genes shared by specific blood cell measures and brain disorders, some of which are targets of drugs that are approved for other conditions—this represents the potential for repurposing those drugs for common brain disorders.
The team says the findings provide a foundation for future work to improve the prevention and prognosis of common neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders.
If you care about Parkinson’s disease, please read studies about Vitamin E that may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, and Vitamin D could benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about new way to treat Parkinson’s disease, and results showing flavonoid-rich foods could improve survival in Parkinson’s disease.
The study was conducted by Professor Jake Gratten et al and published in Cell Genomics.
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