Phenotypic commonalities in familial and sporadic Parkinson disease

Yasuhiko Baba, Katerina Markopoulou, John D. Putzke, Nathaniel R. Whaley, Matthew J. Farrer, Zbigniew K. Wszolek, Ryan J. Uitti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Parkinson disease (PD) is a clinically well-documented neurodegenerative disorder. However, the mechanism or mechanisms of its phenotypic expressions are still unknown. Objective: To compare phenotypes by examining demographic and clinical features of patients with familial PD and sporadic PD and with or without a family history of PD. Design: Historical review of patients with sporadic PD in clinic-based samples and individual patients diagnosed with PD from families whose linkage to mutations or loci has been identified. Setting: Movement disorder clinic in a referral center. Patients: A total of 1277 patients with sporadic PD and 40 patients with familial PD. Main Outcome Measures: Clinical features, including distribution by sex, initial motor symptom, location of initial motor symptom, and frequency of asymmetric motor symptoms. Results: Despite different etiologic backgrounds, both familial and sporadic PD exhibited several interesting commonalities, including a higher incidence in men, tremor as the initial motor symptom (predominantly involving the upper extremities), and asymmetric parkinsonism during disease course. Conclusions: The increased incidence of parkinsonism in men with familial PD suggests that the sex disparity is more likely the result of a protective effect against development of PD in women than of an increased risk in men that is associated with environmental factors. Phenotypic similarity among familial and sporadic PD indicates that a similar topographic distribution of the nigrostriatal lesion exists in patients with either form of PD regardless of apparent genetic influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-583
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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