PLoS Medicine article online


Just out in PLoS Medicine, a study from Alastair Noyce on the interplay between body mass index (BMI) and risk for Parkinson’s disease. This uses a genetic technique called Mendelian randomisation to test whether there is a causal link between two areas of biology. Fascinatingly Alastair’s results suggests that increased BMI is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s, although what underlies this link isn’t clear and there are significant health implications of raised BMI beyond PD. A very thought provoking piece indeed.

Read all about it at:

Biotrinity meeting

OBN_Biotrinity_Banner 600x154I spent yesterday over at the Biotrinity meeting in London, talking about some of the recent research going on in across neurodegeneration on the interaction between the gut microbiome and changes in the brain that lead to cell death as part of a panel discussion. Fascinating meeting, with a very different focus to the more academically orientated meetings that I normally attend.

Comments in The Independent

A couple of comments from myself and from two other academics (David Dexter of Parkinson’s UK and Christopher Morris from Newcastle University) on a paper just published by a group at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showing that Astrocytes can be converted into Dopaminergic neurons.

Read our comments here:

And the original paper here:

GPNMB paper in Neurogenetics


Just out in Neurogenetics, Megha Murthy and Daniah Trabzuni from the lab have published a study of a region on chromosome 7 that is associated with Parkinson’s disease in the most recent genome wide association study. By looking at gene expression in the region, they identified variation in GPNMB as the most likely cause of that association – you can read all about it here.

James Parkinson article

My article on James Parkinson has been reposted by the Parkinson’s Life website, available at the link below:

The original article, particularly pertinent in this year of the bicentenary of James Parkinson, is available to download for free from the Journal of Parkinson’s disease:

And for those who are really interested, these are links to reprints of the Essay on the Shaking Palsy:

AD/PD – Vienna 2017


Claudia Manzoni, Daniah Trabzuni and Megha Murthy from the group are all in Vienna this week at the AD/PD meeting. Daniah and Claudia are giving talks (Claudia at the International Parkinson’s Disease Consortium meeting), and Megha is giving a poster presentation about her research into the PD risk locus on chromosome 7 – which has just been accepted for publication (more details on this soon). I’m looking after the lab, waiting for the arrival of a new laboratory member with a due date of the 16th of April.