Researchers surprised to discover that the same mutation has already been pinpointed as a factor in Parkinson’s disease risk.
A major international research group — including scientists from Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Haifa — has discovered a genetic mutation associated with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects between three and 14 people out of every 100,000 in any given year.
The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, shows that people who carry the mutation in the LRRK2 gene are at high risk of developing the disease.
Surprisingly, this mutation has already been identified in the past as a factor increasing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Prof. Gil Atzmon of the University of Haifa, one of the partners in the study, explains: “The practical significance is that we can already identify carriers of the gene at a young age and recognize that they are in a risk group and need constant monitoring and adjustment of lifestyle in the hope to lower the chance of disease outbreak.”