We’ve set out to build the world’s largest online PD genetics community, and we’re thrilled to report that more than 2,000 people have enrolled since the initiative was launched last month. Owing to tremendous support from The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center and The Michael J. Fox Foundation, their networks of patients have responded overwhelmingly. Assembling this many participants for traditional research studies usually takes months, if not years, to accomplish – by harnessing the power of the web and the enthusiasm of individuals, 23andMe can dramatically change the pace of research.
This puts us well on the way to our goal of enabling 10,000 individuals to help advance research into the genetics and other aspects of the condition. With this number of participants, we hope to be able to make discoveries about aspects of the causes, progression and treatment of Parkinson’s that smaller studies simply haven’t had the power to detect.
As members of the community, PD patients receive the the 23andMe Personal Genome Serviceâ„¢ for $25 instead of the usual $399. Along with all the benefits of the service, the Parkinson’s community gives members:
- research surveys aimed at gathering each patient’s experience with the disease, including age of onset, rate of progression and response to therapies.
- the opportunity to ask questions and share stories with other members.
- PD-specific reports relating to currently known genetic correlations.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with PD can sign up to participate via the website of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Even if you don’t have Parkinson’s, anyone can help with this research by setting up a free 23andMe demo account and taking the Parkinson’s background survey. And, of course, 23andMe customers are encouraged to join the effort by filling out the survey, too. Together, we’re changing the pace of research!