Parkinson's Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

9. What genes are linked to Parkinson's disease?

Researchers have discovered several genes that are linked to Parkinson's disease. The first to be identified was alpha-synuclein or SNCA. Studies have found that Lewy bodies from people with the sporadic form of Parkinson's contain clumps of alpha-synuclein protein. This discovery revealed a possible link between hereditary and sporadic forms of the disease.

Other genes linked to the disease include PARK7, PINK1, and LRRK2. PARK2, PARK7, and PINK1 cause rare, early-onset forms of the disease. LRRK2 causes a late-onset form. Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are common in specific populations, including in people with Parkinson's in North Africa.