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Gaucher and Parkinson's Disease: the Early Signs and Risks to Carriers

31 July 2020

We will have three panelists: prof Ari Zimran, prof Per Svenningsson and Dr Marco Baptista.

Researchers have linked Gaucher disease to a slightly increased risk of having Parkinson's disease later in life. This is also true for carriers, who do not have the disease but can pass it to their children. While a link between these two different medical disorders, Parkinson's disease and Gaucher disease, has now been appreciated for over a decade, the basis for this association has remained elusive. Members from several countries expressed interest in this topic. They would like to know more details about this link from the professionals and to have an opportunity to ask questions and get answers. As one of the strategic imperatives of the IGA is to empower our members and support them to get an education, we decided to hold a series of educational webinars/townhall meetings.
This topic is becoming a very hot topic not just for patients with GD but also for carriers (parents, children, and other close family members). There are more and more doctors and researchers interested in this area and a lot of conferences where GBA-PD is part of the program.

The Townhall meeting format means that there will be a lot of time for discussion and for participants to ask questions and share their experiences.

Click here to register


Prof Ari Zimran

Professor Ari Zimran was the Founder and the Director of the Gaucher Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel from 1990 to 2018, and is currently a senior physician at the Unit. This is the world’s largest referral centre for Gaucher disease (GD), where more than 850 patients have been followed, and about 350 patients are treated with enzyme replacement therapy.

Professor Zimran developed his interest in GD during his fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, in La Jolla, California, USA under the mentorship of Professor Ernest Beutler.

Professor Zimran has published more than 320 professional papers and reviews and has edited three books; he has been a leader in clinical trials for new treatments for GD, including Cerezyme™, Zavesca™, VPRIV™, Elelyso™, Cerdelga™ and Ambroxol.

Prof Per Svenningsson

Per Svenningsson is a physician-researcher at the Karolinska Institutet. His research interests include Parkinson´s disease both its motor and non-motor aspects. The studies are at molecular and cellular levels both in preclinical models and in specimens from patients. The goal is to identify novel targets for improved diagnostics and disease-modifying therapy. Biochemical, histological, pharmacological, molecular biological and behavioral techniques are being used in the laboratory. At the clinical side, he is conducting clinical trials with therapies to slow down progression of Parkinson´s disease or to treat debilitating symptoms of the disease.  Over the past years, he has followed patients with Gauchers disease and GBA-Parkinson disease and follow this research field closely. 

Dr Marco Baptista PhD

Marco Baptista joined the Foundation in 2012. As Vice President, Research Programs, Marco stays closely linked to the Parkinson's community in order to develop an aggressive and innovative agenda for accelerating research and drug development for Parkinson's disease. This ensures that MJFF priorities reflect and best serve the ultimate needs of patients.