OPEN PLoS medicine | 12 Jun 2013
I Pichler, F Del Greco M, M Gögele, CM Lill, L Bertram, CB Do, N Eriksson, T Foroud, RH Myers, M Nalls, MF Keller, B Benyamin, JB Whitfield, PP Pramstaller, AA Hicks, JR Thompson and C Minelli
Although levels of iron are known to be increased in the brains of patients with Parkinson disease (PD), epidemiological evidence on a possible effect of iron blood levels on PD risk is inconclusive, with effects reported in opposite directions. Epidemiological studies suffer from problems of confounding and reverse causation, and mendelian randomization (MR) represents an alternative approach to provide unconfounded estimates of the effects of biomarkers on disease. We performed a MR study where genes known to modify iron levels were used as instruments to estimate the effect of iron on PD risk, based on estimates of the genetic effects on both iron and PD obtained from the largest sample meta-analyzed to date.
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