Genetic Modulation of Clinical Course in Pathologically Proven Parkinson’s Disease

Richard Camicioli, M.D.

University of Alberta, Edmonton


Dr. Richard Camicioli (University of Alberta, Edmonton) will examine autopsied brain tissue from fifty confirmed (by movement disorders specialist, Dr. Ali Rajput of Saskatchewan) PD patients for the presence or absence of genes thought to be risk factors for dementia and psychosis. Evidence thus gathered may permit a better understanding of the influence of such genes in future studies of subjects in prospective (prior to occurrences) rather than a retrospective (looking back using charts and patients' histories) manner. This study is complementary to ongoing research using magnetic resonance imaging in patients living with the disorder.

Progress Report (as of 3/2003)

While this study is not yet completed, Dr. Richard Camicioli, along with the medical family of Rajputs, long known for their work in PD research and clinical care in Saskatchewan, received his grant to study post-mortem PD brain tissue. Fifty samples had their DNA extracted and checked for the genes for apolipoprotein E e4 (Apo E) and catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT), in order to determine whether either or both affected the patients either motorically or cognitively. Their initial analyses have been submitted to the American Academy of Neurology (annual meeting in April). The group has also submitted pilot data for further funding elsewhere and if granted, plans to expand the study to include other movement disorders centers’ brain banks.