Alpha-synuclein multiplications with parkinsonism, dementia or progressive myoclonus?

Andreas Puschmann, Zbigniew K. Wszolek, Matthew Farrer, Lars Gustafson, Håkan Widner, Christer Nilsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Duplications and triplications of the alpha-synuclein (SNCA) gene have been reported in Parkinson's disease patients belonging to the Southern Swedish "Lister family". Further genealogical research has now shown that these individuals are descended from a large kindred characterized by Herman Lundborg in 1901-1913. In the expanded pedigree, a total of 25 individuals had Parkinson's disease with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. Hereditary dementia, and, historically, dementia praecox have been described in other family members. Furthermore, an autosomal recessively inherited pediatric disease with nocturnal tonic-clonic fits, subsequent progressive myoclonus, startle reactions, tremor and muscle rigidity was described by Lundborg in the same pedigree. The entity was later designated Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD) or progressive myoclonus epilepsy type 1 (EPM1). However, Lundborg's clinical description of this disease, based on 17 patients within this kindred, differs from the modern definition of EPM1, which relies on patients with a mutation in the cystatin B (CSTB) gene. We hypothesize that the former pediatric disease, as well as the parkinsonism and dementia phenotypes, are associated with duplications, triplications and possibly higher-order multiplications of the alpha-synuclein (SNCA) gene. This hypothesis is supported by the distribution of afflicted family members within the pedigree and by recently obtained genealogical information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-392
Number of pages3
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Alpha-synuclein
  • Dementia
  • EPM1
  • Gene multiplication
  • Hyperekplexia
  • Myoclonus
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Progressive myoclonic epilepsy
  • Startle reaction
  • Unverricht-Lundborg disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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