New study finds genetic link between IBD and Parkinson’s disease

Genetic link between IBD and Parkinson'sResearchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a genetic link connecting inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This discovery could lead to new treatments that address both conditions.

The research team, led by Dr. Meltem Ece Kars, Dr. Inga Peter, and Dr. Yuval Itan, used advanced genomic techniques to study the genetic connections between IBD and PD. They found that mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a common factor in both diseases and identified new genes that might be involved in patients with both IBD and PD.


Dr. Kars noted that their research revealed that IBD and PD share some genetic factors, including variants in the LRRK2 gene and other genes previously unlinked to both conditions. This finding could revolutionize treatment approaches, enabling therapies that address both diseases simultaneously.

The study utilized data from various sources, including the UK Biobank, the Mount Sinai BioMe BioBank, and a cohort of 67 patients from the Danish National Biobank suffering from IBD and PD. This extensive dataset enabled the researchers to identify rare genetic variants and discover new genes and biological pathways that contribute to the connection between IBD and PD.

Dr. Kars explained that their research not only connects these two diseases genetically but also opens the door for new treatments and prevention strategies, which could reduce the burden on patients.

The researchers used various computational methods to find significant links between LRRK2 gene variants and the occurrence of both IBD and PD. One of these methods, called network-based heterogeneity clustering, proved to be very effective for discovering genes in small patient groups that cannot be analyzed with traditional gene association methods.

Their analysis also found several pathways related to the immune system, inflammation, and autophagy (the body’s way of recycling cells) that are involved in both diseases.


These findings suggest that understanding genetic factors could lead to better-targeted therapies. The study highlights the importance of genetic research in developing personalized medicine approaches, which could improve treatment for patients with both IBD and PD.

Dr. Kars noted that by identifying the genetic roots common to both IBD and PD, they are paving the way for new treatments. These could include developing new drug targets or repurposing existing drugs to address the underlying causes of these conditions.

The results of this study could also influence future research, encouraging scientists to study diseases that seem unrelated but share common genetic pathways in a more integrated way.

Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.