LSU Health Shreveport selected for nationwide study of Parkinson’s disease in African Americans
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - LSU Health Shreveport to be the host of a Parkinson’s disease study researching the impact of the disease on Black and African American populations.
On Feb. 24, LSU Health Shreveport (LSUHS) announced that the organization is partnering with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). The Shreveport facilities are becoming one of only five sites that will be participating in the Black and African American Connections to Parkinson’s Disease (BLACC-PD) study.
All participating facilities are as follows, LSU Health Shreveport, Rush University, University of Chicago, Kaiser Mid-Atlantic, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The study is a project of the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2) and the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative.
The initiatives will work together to coordinate a global program to research and identify genetic links to Parkinson’s disease.
It is estimated that nearly one million people in the United States are affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD), an age-related degenerative brain condition. The disease impacts motor and cognitive function. It is the most common movement-related brain disease and the second-most common neurodegenerative disease.
The BLAAC-PD research study seeks to learn about gene chances that may cause PD in Black and African American people. To this date, 90% of genetics studies performed for PD only involved people of European ancestry, meaning Black and African American people have been under-represented in current research data. The genetic impact of PD on these populations is largely unknown.
“While great strides have been made in Parkinson’s disease research, there is still more to learn, especially regarding the genetic impact on disease development. Information gathered through studies like BLACC PD could lead to major breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Our team at LSU Health Shreveport is looking forward to working with GP2 and the Michael J. Fox Foundation to better understand PD and develop new therapies for all groups of people who are affected by this disease,” said Elizabeth Disbrow, PhD, director of the Center for Brain Health, and the professor of neurology who will lead the study at LSU Health Shreveport.
LSUHS is currently recruiting volunteers to participate in the BLAAC-PD study.
Criteria for eligibility for BLAAC-PD:
- Age 18 or older
- Identify as Black or African American
- Do or do not have Parkinson’s disease
All participants will be compensated.
To learn more about the study or to participate, contact Dr. Elizabeth Disbrow at CBHResearch01@lsuhs.edu, go to blaacpd.org, or call (318) 656-4800 (The Bridge a local resource center associated with the Center for Brain Health).
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