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MDS 2023 | Establishing a genetic cause for PD: should we reassess research resources?

Jonathan Carr, MD, ChB, PhD, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, discusses the future of research investigating Parkinson’s disease (PD) genetics, genetic testing, and genetic-based therapies for PD. While acknowledging the importance of this field, Prof. Carr suggests that resources may be better distributed to investigate non-genetic causes of PD. Despite the identification of several genes associated with the condition, their effects may not be significantly stronger than environmental factors. Prof. Carr questions the dominance of genetic treatments in PD research, emphasizing the need for cautious optimism and the importance of randomized controlled trials. This thought-provoking controversy encourages the reassessment of the allocation of research resources and evaluation of the progress made in establishing a genetic cause for PD. This interview took place at the 2023 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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