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Cleveland Clinic to Recruit Parkinson's Patients for 23andMe

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cleveland Clinic today said that it will recruit Parkinson's disease patients for 23andMe and the consumer genetics firm's ongoing research efforts in that area.

The patients will be recruited to contribute their DNA to 23andMe's research database and complete online surveys regarding their health. Participants will be enrolled in 23andMe's Parkinson's Disease Research Community, enabling them to engage with other Parkinson's patients while getting full access to 23andMe's Personal Genome Service.

Cleveland Clinic said the project is part of its own personalized healthcare initiative, which seeks to better predict risk for disease and response to therapies.

"We are offering this opportunity to our patients because as part of our 'Patients First' mission, we feel it is an important collaboration that could lead to improvements in our ability to predict and treat Parkinson's disease," Kathryn Teng, director of the Center for Personalized Healthcare at Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement.

23andMe began a research collaboration in March 2009 with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center aimed at enrolling 10,000 people to be part of its Parkinson's Disease Research Community.

That collaboration led to a study published last year in PLoS Genetics that identified two new loci contributing to Parkinson's disease risk. The genome-wide association study involved 3,426 individuals with Parkinson's disease enrolled over an 18-month period.

23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki said that the firm already has more than 6,500 individuals with Parkinson's disease in its research community, which she said is the largest cohort of Parkinson's disease patients in the world. Cleveland Clinic said that it expects to add about 1,000 patients to the program.

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