The Parkinson’s Foundation is expanding its free genetic testing initiative in an effort to connect a broader and more diverse set of candidates to clinical trials that could lead to future treatments.
Its project, PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease, now has 23 actively enrolling participant sites in addition to ongoing at-home testing, the organization said in an announcement this week.
The testing site expansion includes collaborations with clinicians in historically excluded communities. These include a partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine, aimed at opening up accessibility to Black and African American individuals in Atlanta. The study also “extensively engages” Hispanic and Latino persons, offering genetic testing and counseling in both English and Spanish, the foundation said.
“[I]n PD GENEration, we aim to make testing accessible to all who live with PD, irrespective of their geographic location, primary language or any other barriers which would have previously excluded them from participating in research,” principal investigator Roy Alcalay, M.D., said.
The foundation so far has reached 23% of a 15,000-participant goal across the United States, it said.