23andMe and The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center (Parkinson's Institute) have announced a research initiative under which Parkinson's Institute patients, with financial support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation, will enroll in the 23andMe Personal Genome Service™ to support the development of advanced methods for clinical and epidemiologic research for Parkinson's disease.
The new research initiative is designed to improve current methods of collecting information for Parkinson's research by leveraging the internet to expand the involvement of Parkinson's patients in clinical research and increase the frequency and quality of patient data collection.
Together, 23andMe and the Parkinson's Institute will design and validate web-based clinical assessment tools that can be administered to online communities.
23andMe will establish a social networking platform to facilitate the development of communities and research projects based on common traits of Parkinson's disease patients.
All participating Parkinson's Institute patients will be enrolled in the 23andMe Personal Genome Service™ and will provide a saliva sample for a comprehensive genome scan generating more than 580,000 data points per patient.
Parkinson's Institute patients will provide specific information and insights that will include their individual environmental exposures, family history, disease progression and treatment response.
Patients' risk factor and clinical data collected through the newly developed and validated web-based tools will then be merged with their genetic data to conduct research on Parkinson's disease.
New surveys will be developed and administered to the growing cohort of patients, generating new risk factor and clinical data for comparison with the existing genetic data.
“This partnership represents the basis for ‘Research 2.0’, a new research architecture that web-enables validated diagnostic procedures and combines them with genetic profiles of Parkinson's patients,” said Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe.
“By building a social network for the Parkinson's disease community, and combining it with the world-class expertise of Parkinson's Institute researchers, we hope to establish an entirely new paradigm for how genetic research is conducted that actively involves the patient.”