Project To Study Genetics Of Parkinson’s Gets USD 2.3-M Grant

An Indo-German collaborative project, led by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) here, to study the genetic basis of Parkinson’s disease has received USD 2.3 million grant.

The research proposal ‘Genetic Architecture of Parkinson’s disease’ is led by the comprehensive care centre for movement disorders in SCTIMST in India and the Centre for Genetic Epidemiology, University of Tuebingen, Germany, a press release said here.

The grant has been received from The Michel J Fox Foundation, USA.

The highly competitive award was won under the Fox Genetic Diversity in PD program and was submitted by Dr Manu Sharma from the University of Tubingen, Germany, and professor Asha Kishore, movement disorder specialist and director of SCTIMST.

A consortium of movement disorder specialists, neurologists and geneticists from 20 Indian centres are co- investigators in the multi-centre international study along with the team in Germany led by Dr Manu Sharma.

This would be the first Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) on Parkinson’s disease (PD) in India and one of the largest GWAS conducted in the country.

Besides SCTIMST as the lead nodal centre in India, AIIMS New Delhi, NIMHANS in Bengaluru and Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, would participate as nodal centres.

Sixteen sub-centres, including PGI Chandigarh, AIIMS Rishikesh, Institute of Neuro sciences, Kolkotta, Vikram Hospital, Banglore, are also involved.

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, and Centre for Genetic Epidemiology, Tubingen, would be the Indian and German genetic laboratories that would conduct the molecular biological and advanced analytics of the genetic data.

GWAS in Western Population and East Asian regions have identified about 20 or more genetic variants as risk factors for Parkinson’s.

As ethnically diverse populations vary in terms of the frequency of these variants in the population, it is necessary to conduct GWAS of PD in India to capture the genetic variants that pose a risk for the disease among Indian patients under- represented in Western studies, the release added.

The aim of this research is to identify genetic risk factors of PD in India through a GWAS.

Approximately a half-million genetic markers would be assessed to identify the Indian PD population-specific risk variants.

“To meet our objectives, more than 10,000 PD patients and 10,000 healthy controls would be recruited from across India to define a pan-Indian PD map for the Indian population,” the release added.-Business Standard

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