Dr. Mitchell Blutt, an eminent physician and businessman, has served on many boards over the course of his career. Among his contributions, Dr. Mitchell Blutt contributed to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, an organization focused on Parkinson’s disease research. Since its founding in 2000 by actor Michael J. Fox, the foundation has invested more than $450 million in research.
One of the organization’s focus areas is on increasing knowledge of Parkinson’s genetics. Approximately 10 percent of Parkinson’s patients acquire the disease due to a genetic mutation. Researchers discovered that mutations in the SNCA gene were common in families with high incidences of Parkinson’s disease. In 2004, another gene LRRK2 was tied to high rates of Parkinson’s in several families. Scientists have also noted that having a mutation in one or both of these genes does not necessarily mean that an individual will develop Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers can learn a great deal from Parkinson’s patients with genetic mutations. This knowledge can help grow overall understanding of Parkinson’s and lead to development of new beneficial therapies.