Whole Clinic Research Enrollment in Parkinson's Disease: The Molecular Integration in Neurological Diagnosis (MIND) Study

Thomas F. Tropea, Noor Amari, Noah Han, Jacqueline Rick, Eunran Suh, Rizwan S. Akhtar, Nabila Dahodwala, Andres Deik, Pedro Gonzalez-Alegre, Howard Hurtig, Andrew Siderowf, Meredith Spindler, Matthew Stern, Mary Ann Thenganatt, Daniel Weintraub, Allison W. Willis, Vivianna Van Deerlin, Alice Chen-Plotkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Observational studies in Parkinson's disease (PD) have focused on relatively small numbers of research participants who are studied extensively. The Molecular Integration in Neurological Diagnosis Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania aims to characterize molecular and clinical features of PD in every patient in a large academic center. Objective: To determine the feasibility and interest in a global-capture biomarker research protocol. Additionally, to describe the clinical characteristics and GBA and LRRK2 variant carrier status among participants. Methods: All patients at UPenn with a clinical diagnosis of PD were eligible. Informed consent included options for access to the medical record, future recontact, and use of biosamples for additional studies. A blood sample and a completed questionnaire were obtained from participants. Targeted genotyping for four GBA and eight LRRK2 variants was performed, with plasma and DNA banked for future research. Results: Between September 2018 and December 2019, 704 PD patients were approached for enrollment; 652 (92.6%) enrolled, 28 (3.97%) declined, and 24 (3.41%) did not meet eligibility criteria. Median age was 69 (IQR 63_75) years, disease duration was 5.41 (IQR 2.49_9.95) years, and 11.10%of the cohort was non-white. Disease risk-associated variants in GBA were identified in 39 participants (5.98%) and in LRRK2 in 16 participants (2.45%). Conclusions: We report the clinical and genetic characteristics of PD patients in an all-comers, global capture protocol from an academic center. Patient interest in participation and yield for identification of GBA and LRRK2 mutation carriers is high, demonstrating feasibility of PD clinic-wide molecular characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-765
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Parkinson's disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • GBA
  • LRRK2
  • Parkinson's disease
  • clinical protocols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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