The group of Prof. Gasser focuses on the study of Parkinson's syndrome, which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease with steadily increasing prevalence. The group is looking at the analysis of genetic factors that play a role in Parkinson's disease and how this knowledge can be used to determine which proteins positively influence the onset and progression of Parkinson's disease.
The genetic variants known today can only explain a small part of the overall risk of the disease. In order to obtain a more complete picture of the entire genetic risk profile and to derive new approaches for diagnosis, prevention or therapy, as complete genetic data sets as possible must be examined by many thousands of patients. In large international consortia, such as the International Parkinson's Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC), the research group conducts such studies in collaboration with many colleagues from around the world. Patients with mutations in certain genes, however, are already being tested in new progression-modifying therapies based on genetically caused metabolic disorders.