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Parkinson's Foundation Selects Five Sites for Genetic Testing, Counseling

NEW YORK – The Parkinson's Foundation has added five new sites for its PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson's Disease initiative, which offers free genetic testing and counseling for clinically relevant Parkinson's disease-related genes. 

The new PD Generation locations include Massachusetts General Hospital, Northwestern Medicine, Struthers Parkinson's Center at Park Nicollet, University of California San Diego, and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. They join the pilot site at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 

The researchers will use the genetic testing results to develop improved clinical care and personalized medicine for patients with PD. The study aims to use the results to help identify PD patients who may qualify for enrollment in certain clinical trials. The group aims to enroll 600 participants in the pilot study.

"This program will help us better understand how people with Parkinson's experience symptoms and respond to treatments related to this disease so that scientists can start building the foundation for precision medicine in PD," Parkinson's Foundation CSO James Beck said in a statement. "Now even more people with PD will have better access to their genetic data through their clinicians." 

The Parkinson's Foundation noted that the new sites are part of its Centers of Excellence network, which consists of medical centers treating more than 185,000 people with PD in the US. 

After completing the pilot study, the Parkinson's Foundation expects to expand the program to about 50 Centers of Excellence and Parkinson Study Groups locations through the US in 2020.