IBD – Parkinson’s Disease


About the Study

The genetics of IBD and Parkinson’s is a collaborative research study led Drs. Inga Peter, Rachel Sanders-Pullman, and Susan Bressman.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) manifests itself as either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Approximately 1.4 million people in the US have been affected by IBD; the prevalence among Ashkenazi Jews is about two to four times higher than among non-Jewish whites.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder of the central nervous system. Mutations in the LRRK2 gene, the greatest genetic contributor to Parkinson’s disease, were recently found in patients with IBD, placing individuals at greater risk of developing either (or both) diseases.


We are studying genes, environmental factors, and bacteria in the gut that may increase the risk of getting Parkinson’s Disease. The results from this study will contribute to our understanding of what causes this disease and help us develop new treatments.


Our 2018 paper, Functional variants in the LRRK2 gene confer shared effects on risk for Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (see here), gained media attention for providing new insight into the etiology of both IBD and Parkinson’s disease


Eligibility for participation in this research study is as follows:

  • Confirmed IBD diagnosis of either Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or other immune mediated diseases
  • Confirmed diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease
  • No diagnosis
  • The unaffected family member of a patient

Your participation in this research study will include:

  • Sign a research consent form
  • Provide us with a stool, urine and saliva samples via home collection kit
  • The OPTIONAL collection of biopsy samples taken by your physician
  • Compensation is allotted for each sample type
  • No costs incurred for participation; stool kits are mailed out with a prepaid return box

For more information or to enroll

You can contact our study coordinator, Anketse Debebe, at 925-209-8328
Questions can also be emailed to her at anketse.debebe@mssm.edu


Taymans, JM., Fell, M., Greenamyre, T. et al. Perspective on the current state of the LRRK2 field. npj Parkinsons Dis. 9, 104 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41531-023-00544-7

Peter, I., & Strober, W. (2023). Immunological Features of LRRK2 Function and Its Role in the Gut-Brain Axis Governing Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Parkinson’s disease, 13(3), 279–296. https://doi.org/10.3233/JPD-230021

Peter, I., Dubinsky, M., Xuan, S., Chen, N., & Wang, A. (2022). Letter to the Editor: Re-Revisiting the Association Between Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 28(6), e72. https://doi.org/10.1093/ibd/izac049

Weimers, P., Halfvarson, J., Sachs, M. C., Saunders-Pullman, R., Ludvigsson, J. F., Peter, I., Burisch, J., & Olén, O. (2019). Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Parkinson’s Disease: A Nationwide Swedish Cohort Study. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 25(1), 111–123. https://doi.org/10.1093/ibd/izy190

Weimers, P., Halfvarson, J., Sachs, M. C., Ludvigsson, J. F., Peter, I., Olén, O., & Burisch, J. (2019). Association between inflammatory bowel disease and Parkinson’s disease: seek and you shall find?. Gut, 68(1), 175–176. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2018-316937

Takagawa, T., Kitani, A., Fuss, I., Levine, B., Brant, S. R., Peter, I., Tajima, M., Nakamura, S., & Strober, W. (2018). An increase in LRRK2 suppresses autophagy and enhances Dectin-1-induced immunity in a mouse model of colitis. Science translational medicine, 10(444), eaan8162. https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aan8162

Peter, I., Dubinsky, M., Bressman, S., Park, A., Lu, C., Chen, N., & Wang, A. (2018). Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy and Incidence of Parkinson Disease Among Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease. JAMA neurology, 75(8), 939–946. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0605

Hui, K. Y., Fernandez-Hernandez, H., Hu, J., Schaffner, A., Pankratz, N., Hsu, N. Y., Chuang, L. S., Carmi, S., Villaverde, N., Li, X., Rivas, M., Levine, A. P., Bao, X., Labrias, P. R., Haritunians, T., Ruane, D., Gettler, K., Chen, E., Li, D., Schiff, E. R., … Peter, I. (2018). Functional variants in the LRRK2 gene confer shared effects on risk for Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Science translational medicine, 10(423), eaai7795. https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aai7795