The International Parkinson Disease Genomics Consortium Africa

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Institute of Global Health & Human Ecology

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Mie Rizig; Njideka Okubadejo; Mohamed Salama; Omotola Thomas; Albert Akpalu; Riadh Gouider

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

The Lancet. Neurology

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Most research leading to novel diagnostics or treatment for patients with Parkinson's disease has been done almost exclusively in White people. Genetic data from ethnically diverse African populations—shown to contain at least 10% more DNA than current human reference genomes and approximately 3 million new variants—can extend the application of these discoveries for all people. The International Parkinson Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC)3 includes an African section: the IPDGC Africa, whose mission is to improve the scientific understanding of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders in African people through clinical and genetic research, education and training, and community engagement. The Consortium is a collaboration between academic institutions in 12 African countries—ie, Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Zambia, Tunisia, Tanzania, Cameroon, and South Africa—and the Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK, and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. We have also formed a partnership with the Global Parkinson's Genetic Program. Our Consortium aims to build a collaborative intracontinental network that will establish an African-based registry of 4000 patients with Parkinson's disease and 4000 healthy controls, and create a framework for future collaborative studies. The emphasis will be on the identification of genetic risk factors of Parkinson's disease and to explore the relationship between these factors and disease phenotypes (eg, disease subtypes, age at onset, and motor and non-motor symptoms). Ultimately, our aim is to investigate new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

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