BETHESDA, Md.—In an effort to speed research, data from one of the first genome-wide association studies (GWAS) focused on Parkinson's diseases—funded in part by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF)–is now publicly available to researchers through the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
The study, conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic in collaboration with scientists at Perlegen Sciences, was the first genome-wide association study applied to Parkinson's disease. It was funded under MJFF's Linked Efforts to Accelerate Parkinson's Solutions (LEAPS) initiative.
"Until now, the individual-level data from this study had been available only to a few researchers," says Teri Manolio, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NHGRI Office of Population Genomics. "This is the first orphan data set NHGRI is adopting to make public through NCBI, but it certainly will not be the last. We appreciate the willingness of the LEAPS researchers and patients to share their data with the rest of the research community and hope it will increase our understanding of Parkinson's disease."
NHGRI's data access committee recently agreed to adopt the study and manage the data access approval process so that the data could be made widely available while ensuring the appropriate protections for confidentiality and privacy.
"It's wonderful that NHGRI has agreed to facilitate access to this data by researchers around the globe working on Parkinson's disease," said Demetrius Maraganore, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic and the lead principal investigator who provided the Mayo-Perlegen LEAPS data to the dbGaP database on behalf of his collaborators. "Our hope is that these data will be used to make breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of this devastating disease."
The Mayo-Perlegen LEAPS Collaboration study will be added to dbGaP, the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes operated by the National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information. The dbGaP database contains individual-level data on genotype and phenotype. The Mayo-Perlegen LEAPS Collaboration is the second dataset on Parkinson's disease available through dbGaP. The first was the NINDS-Genome-Wide Genotyping in Parkinson's Disease: First Stage Analysis and Public Release of Data.