News

GxE study on inflammation and air polution in PD

Both air pollution exposure and systemic inflammation have been linked to Parkinson’s disease (PD). In this study, led by long-time LIGA collaborator Prof. Beate Ritz at UCLA in the USA, we correlated long term traffic related air pollution measures with genetic markers for inflammation. The analyses showed suggestive evidence that a combination of traffic-related air pollution and genetic variation in the IL1B gene may contribute to risk of developing PD. The results were published in the journal Environmental Research.

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First genome-wide GxE study in PD published

The LIGA team was part of a collaborative effort where we performed the first ever genome-wide gene-environment interaction (GxE) analysis of pesticide exposure and risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The results of this effort suggest that the effect of pesticide exposure on PD risk may be modified by SNPs in the ERCC6L2 gene. This finding needs to be replicated in independent samples before it should be considered as established. The results were published in the journal Parkinsonism and Related Disorders.

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Announcement of MDSGene

Investigators from LIGA and the Institute of Neurogenetics today announced their upcoming launch of MDSGene, the Movement Disorders Society Genetics database. MDSGene aims to provide a comprehensive, systematic overview of published data on movement disorder patients reported to carry causative gene mutations. The official launch of the resource will happen during the 20th Congress of the International Movement Disorders Society which takes place in Berlin between June 19-23. After AlzGene, ALSGene, and PDGene, MDSGene (which will become available at www.mdsgene.org) represents the fourth genetics database developed by the LIGA team. The launch announcement was published as an editorial by members of the MDSGene team in the journal Movement Disorders.

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Study on 400,000 individuals finds genes for educational attainment

This study is the second effort coordinated by the Social Science Genetics Association Consortium (SSGAC) to which LIGA contributed data from the Berlin Aging Study II. This newest analysis employed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach in 300,000 persons searching for genetic determinants of educational achievement, the largest-ever genetics study in the social sciences. A total of 74 loci were revealed to show genome-wide significant association with years of schooling. The identified loci were enriched for genomic regions regulating gene expression in the fetal brain. The study was published in the journal Nature.

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