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“Using our genetics, 23andMe is getting to the basis of what causes this illness, why some people get it, and why some people don’t,” said Lonnie Ali. “Anyone out there who has Parkinson’s disease, I urge you to participate.” In addition to participating in the thriving Parkinson’s community, anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's by a physician can join the initiative and receive a free 23andMe Personal Genome Service®. This service includes a report on genetic factors associated with Parkinson’s as well as regular updates about new genetic discoveries and how those discoveries apply to them. Participants can also access personalized reports on what their DNA reveals about 235 other traits and conditions, or dig into their roots using a variety of ancestry features offered by 23andMe.
“It’s an honor to have Muhammad and Lonnie Ali join our Parkinson’s Disease Research Initiative,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe. "Muhammad is a legend and it's wonderful to have him helping us pioneer a novel, consumer-driven approach to research. By bringing thousands of individuals together online, we hope to make significant discoveries that will impact Muhammad's life and others with Parkinson's." 23andMe published a research paper in June 2011 detailing our discovery of two novel genetic associations with Parkinson’s. 23andMe also identified a genetic factor in a gene called SGK1 that may protect against the disease. With generous support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation, 23andMe has partnered with The Scripps Research Institute to further study the connection between SGK1 and a Parkinson’s risk gene called LRRK2 in hopes of finding new treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The “Give Us Your Hand” video featuring Muhammad and Lonnie Ali, debuted at the celebrity-packed "Power of Love Gala" in Las Vegas on February 18, 2012. The Gala is a 70th birthday celebration for Muhammad Ali and a fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center. The event will be televised on ABC on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. ET and 2 p.m. PT. It will re-air on ESPN2 later that same night at 10 p.m. ET. The “Give Us Your Hand” video featuring the Alis is now available on 23andMe's website.
23andMe, Inc. is a leading personal genetics company dedicated to helping individuals understand their own genetic information through DNA analysis technologies and web-based interactive tools. The company's Personal Genome Service® enables individuals to gain deeper insights into their ancestry and inherited traits. The vision for 23andMe is to personalize healthcare by making and supporting meaningful discoveries through genetic research. 23andMe, Inc., was founded in 2006, and the company is advised by a group of renowned experts in the fields of human genetics, bioinformatics and computer science. More information is available at www.23andme.com.
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