13th International Congress
13th International Congress

News Release

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Laur, elaur@movementdisorders.org
+1 414-276-2145 (MDS Secretariat)
MDS 13th International Congress Press Room (June 7-11):
Le Palais des Congres de Paris,
Room 212/213, Level 2, Hall Maillot, TEL: +33 (0)1 40 68 63 74

Gene Variants Are Associated With Increased Risks for Multiple System Atrophy

PARIS - The results of a study testing the hypothesis that shared, common genetic mechanisms play a critical role in both Multiple system atrophy (MSA) and Parkinson's disease (PD) were presented today at The Movement Disorder Society's 13th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

Both MSA and PD are progressive neurodegenerative disorders characterized by a α-synuclein deposition. MSA affects both men and women, primarily in their 50s. It can progress swiftly or slowly, but people with MSA generally survive for 9 years after the appearance of symptoms. There is no remission from the disease.

This study, led by Sonja W. Scholz, MD, of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute of Aging with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, performed a candidate SNP, or DNA sequence variation study in PD candidate risk factors for MSA. After rigorous quality control procedures, 339 SNPs in 400 MSA cases and 3,891 controls were tested. After the initial screening, replication of the ten most significant SNPs was performed in a separate group of 108 MSA cases and 537 normal controls. The results of the study indicate that SNPS at the SNCA locus significantly linked with an increased risk of developing MSA, with an overall ratio of 6.2.

Overall, this study concludes that genetic variants at the SNCA locus are associated with MSA. Therefore genetic determinants play a critical role in MSA.

Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 3,900 physicians and medical professionals from 90 countries will be able to view over 1,700 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about the Movement Disorder Society, visit www.movementdisorders.org.