A team of researchers at institutions in the Netherlands, Italy, and France has identified a genetic mutation associated with early-onset Parkinson disease. The findings were published online by Science on November 21 (http://www.sciencexpress.org).
In a previous study, scientists had identified an area of DNA on chromosome 1 called PARK7 that was linked with early onset of the disorder in members of two families in genetically isolated communities in the Netherlands and Italy. In the new work, the researchers found that mutations of a gene called DJ-1 within the PARK7 region resulted in the absence of the DJ-1 protein in the Dutch family and the production of functionally inactive DJ-1 in the Italian family.
Stephenson J. Mutation Linked to Early-Onset Parkinson Disease. JAMA. 2002;288(22):2813. doi:10.1001/jama.288.22.2813-JWM20012-3-1