Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, is racing to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease to help save himself and others who are predisposed to this condition. Sergey has been found to carry the gene mutation LRRK2, which is situated on the 12th chromosome. A person that has this genetic mutation is at a higher risk for Parkinson’s disease. Sergey Brin’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999, and at the time scientist didn’t believe their was a heredity link to this disease. It was Sergey’s wife that started to intensely research this condition, and then became co-founder of 23andMe, which is doing a study harnessing the user’s DNA to further understand health risks and other genetic traits. Sergey has contributed millions of dollars and his DNA to help research.
Parkinson’s disease is part of a group of conditions called motor system disorders. This is the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The main symptoms that accompanies this disease are tremors, uncontrollable twitching, slowness of movement and impaired balance. If a person has the LRRK2 mutation, it increases a person’s chance that Parkinson’s disease will emerge sometime in the carriers life between 30 and 75%. Sergey Brin figures his chances to be 50-50.
Michael J. Fox is a famous celebrity who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991. He has founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research along with the nonprofit Parkinson’s Institute. Sergey Brin is now working closely with Michael and the foundation to fund research and studies needed in helping to understand the disease and find a cure for Parkinson’s. The mission for all involved is to put a cure in sight for those who have Parkinson’s disease, and those who are predisposed to this condition.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes are now conducting PD research in laboratories at the National Institute of Health. Researchers are using animal modules to study how the disease progresses. They are also using this study in hopes of developing new drug treatments. Scientist are looking into environmental factors, such as toxins, to see if this could trigger the disease. They are also studying genetic factors to find how the defective genes play a role. Researchers are hoping this study will result in a protective drug that could delay, prevent or reverse Parkinson’s disease.
In the meantime, Sergey Brin is doing his part to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. He is vigorously diving and exercising to stay fit. Researchers have found that young men who worked out lowered their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Coffee has also been linked to lowering the risk, but Sergey’s drink of choice is green tea because of his dislike for the taste of coffee. With Sergey’s healthy lifestyle and hands-on research into Parkinson’s disease, it can now give hope to those predisposed or suffering with Parkinson’s that a cure or manageablilty of the disease may be in the near future.
For more information on Sergey Brin and Parkinson’s disease go to www.nih.gov, www.pdtrials.org, www.michaeljfox.org, and www.muckety.com.