Park, David SGibbings, Derrick J; Hayley, Shawn P; Philpott, Dana J; Rioux, John D; Schlossmacher, Michael G; Schurr, Erwin A
University of Ottawa
Insights into Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, and leprosy: a common role for LRRK2
Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders
The immune system has increasingly been shown to play a role in various disease states, though the manner by which the immune system responds is complex and not fully understood. Recent evidence has identified a potential common immune system response that may underlie three different chronic diseases: Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and leprosy. LRRK2 is a gene that has been associated with an increased susceptibility for these diseases, and is thought to play a role in regulating immune system function. The present research is designed to develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of LRRK2 in immune system modulation, and how dysfunction of this pathway may lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, or leprosy. To achieve this we have assembled a multidisciplinary team with expertise in LRRK2 biology, genetics, and the immune system. Together, these three disorders represent an incredible burden on health care costs and human suffering worldwide. The identification of commonalities related to immune dysregulation could lead to unique therapeutic strategies, and has the potential to transform clinical outcomes of patients suffering from these conditions.