Genetic variants linked to higher BMI may be protective against Parkinson disease

June 13, 2017

Genetic variants linked to higher body mass index (BMI) are associated with lower risk of Parkinson disease, according to a study published by Nicholas Wood and colleagues from the University College London, UK, in PLOS Medicine.

The researchers used a Mendelian randomization approach to examine whether genetic variants linked to higher BMI were also associated with risk of Parkinson disease. The associations between the genetic variants and BMI were obtained from the GIANT consortium and the relationship between the same genetic variants and Parkinson disease was ascertained from a recent meta-analysis that included 13,708 cases of Parkinson disease and 95,282 controls.

The researchers observed that genetic risk expected to confer a lifetime exposure of 5-kg/m2 higher BMI was associated with an 18% lower risk of Parkinson disease (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.69-0.98). A limitation of the approach is that individuals who have higher BMI have a higher risk of earlier mortality, and therefore individuals with lower BMI may be over-represented amongst individuals diagnosed with Parkinson . This "frailty effect" could at least partially account for the estimated association.

The authors say: "Although our results suggest that higher BMI is potentially protective against PD, the negative health impacts of raising BMI are likely to be significant, and should be taken into account."

Explore further: Study finds Alzheimer's disease likely not caused by low body mass index

More information: Noyce AJ, Kia DA, Hemani G, Nicolas A, Price TR, De Pablo-Fernandez E, et al. (2017) Estimating the causal influence of body mass index on risk of Parkinson disease: A Mendelian randomisation study. PLoS Med 14(6): e1002314. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002314

Related Stories

Study finds Alzheimer's disease likely not caused by low body mass index

May 9, 2017
A new large-scale genetic study found that low body mass index (BMI) is likely not a causal risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, as earlier research had suggested, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's ...

Serum iron levels may be causally associated with Parkinson's disease risk

June 4, 2013
Increased iron levels may be causally associated with a decreased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, says a new paper published this week in PLOS Medicine. Irene Pichler from EURAC in Italy and a group of international ...

Exposure to LDL-C-lowering genetic variants ups T2DM risk

October 7, 2016
(HealthDay)—Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)-lowering genetic variants are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American ...

Adiposity genetic risk score tied to cardiometabolic health

May 4, 2016
(HealthDay)—Data from a large cohort have replicated the association between the genetic risk score of 11 favorable adiposity variants with lower risk of cardiometabolic disease, according to research published online April ...

Asthma linked to increased risk of Parkinson's disease

September 4, 2015
(HealthDay)—Patients with asthma may have an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in Allergy.

Scientists find 6 new genetic risk factors for Parkinson's disease

July 27, 2014
Using data from over 18,000 patients, scientists have identified more than two dozen genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson's disease, including six that had not been previously reported. The study, published in Nature ...

Recommended for you

Genetic defects in the cell's 'waste disposal system' linked to Parkinson's disease

November 14, 2017
An international study has shed new light on the genetic factors associated with Parkinson's disease, pointing at a group of lysosomal storage disorder genes as potential major contributors to the onset and progression of ...

Parkinson's disease: A looming pandemic

November 13, 2017
New research shows that the number of people with Parkinson's disease will soon grow to pandemic proportions. In a commentary appearing today in the journal JAMA Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center neurologist ...

Focused ultrasound shows promise for treating Parkinson's tremor

October 30, 2017
An initial test to determine if a scalpel-free form of brain surgery can reduce tremor caused by Parkinson's disease has produced encouraging results. Further research is warranted, the researchers conclude in a paper published ...

Novel technique explains herbicide's link to Parkinson's disease

October 23, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have used an innovative gene editing technique to identify the genes that may lead to Parkinson's disease after exposure to paraquat, a commonly-used herbicide.

Data, technology drive new approaches to Parkinson's care

October 23, 2017
Complex, multi-system diseases like Parkinson's have long posed challenges to both scientists and physicians. University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) researchers are now reaching for new tools, such as algorithms, ...

Investigating the most common genetic contributor to Parkinson's disease

October 19, 2017
LRRK2 gene mutations are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), but the normal physiological role of this gene in the brain remains unclear. In a paper published in Neuron, Brigham and Women's Hospital ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.