Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder that currently has no disease-modifying treatment, partly owing to inefficiencies in drug target identification and validation. We use Mendelian randomization to investigate over 3,000 genes that encode druggable proteins and predict their efficacy as drug targets for Parkinson’s disease. We use expression and protein quantitative trait loci to mimic exposure to medications, and we examine the causal effect on Parkinson’s disease risk (in two large cohorts), age at onset and progression. We propose 23 drug-targeting mechanisms for Parkinson’s disease, including four possible drug repurposing opportunities and two drugs which may increase Parkinson’s disease risk. Of these, we put forward six drug targets with the strongest Mendelian randomization evidence. There is remarkably little overlap between our drug targets to reduce Parkinson’s disease risk versus progression, suggesting different molecular mechanisms. Drugs with genetic support are considerably more likely to succeed in clinical trials, and we provide compelling genetic evidence and an analysis pipeline to prioritise Parkinson’s disease drug development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology