Blogosphere Debates Personalised Medicine

My morning read of Scienceroll highlighted a blogosphere debate regarding Sergey Brin’s recent blog posting about 23andMe.

The New York Times picked up on Sergey Brin’s new blog post. Unfortunately, according to Dr Steve Murphy, (aka The Gene Sherpa) they got some key facts wrong.

The New York Times:

Mr. Brin, who made the announcement on a blog, says he does not have the disease and that the exact implications of the discovery are not clear. Studies show that his likelihood of contracting Parkinson’s disease in his lifetime may be 20 percent to 80 percent, Mr. Brin said.

Dr Murphy:

Parkinson Disease affects approximately 1% of the population by age 65% and 4 to 5% by age 85 years. Therefore the lifetime risk is 2-5%. So a 1.2 to 2.1 Odds ratio would be 4% to 10% roughly. Not 80%!