The most important goal of our research is to understand the specific processes involved in hereditary diseases, especially neurological and neuromuscular diseases. We study diseases with strong heredity as well as more complex diseases.
For diseases with strong inheritance, our primary focus is on an autosomal dominant form of the neuromuscular disease, dystonia. There are numerous genes identified for different forms of dystonia but the families that we study have a novel genetic background.
We are also involved in a project that focus on the genetics of Parkinson's disease, a disease related to dystonia and with partly overlapping symptoms. Some families show a strong heredity but in most cases the disease is more complex in nature. The aim is to identify risk genes for complex forms of the disease, in collaboration with other research groups in Umeå and internationally. We have also identified a number of families with stronger heredity for Parkinson's disease, and our hope is that studies in these families will increase the chance of finding disease genes.