OTTAWA — Experts advised Matt Farrer to stop studying the genetics of Parkinson’s disease because “there’s no genetics in it,” that he was wasting his time.
So he went and found the genetic foundations of the disease anyway.
Farrer, a neuroscientist and geneticist from the University of British Columbia, says existing drugs for Parkinson’s fight the symptoms, but don’t stop the disease from progressing.
“Drugs that have more than symptomatic benefits will address the real root of the problem,” he said.
“Neurogenetics is a bit like mechanics.” With Parkinson’s treatment today, “we try to fix a car that’s not working optimally, but we have no idea how the parts of the car are all fitted together. We don’t even know what the components are.
“The job of the neurogeneticist is to work out precisely what those components are,” and what makes them break down.
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