Three families with Perry syndrome from distinct parts of the world

Pawel Tacik, Fabienne C. Fiesel, Shinsuke Fujioka, Owen A. Ross, Felipe Pretelt, Camilo Castañeda Cardona, Alexa Kidd, Michael Hlavac, Anthony Raizis, Michael S. Okun, Sharleen Traynor, Audrey J. Strongosky, Wolfdieter Springer, Zbigniew K. Wszolek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Perry syndrome consists of autosomal dominant Parkinsonism, depression, weight loss, and central hypoventilation. Eight mutations in 16 families have been reported: p.F52L, p.G67D, p.G71R, p.G71E, p.G71A, p.T72P, p.Q74P, and p.Y78C located in exon 2 of the dynactin 1 (DCTN1) gene on chromosome 2p13.1. Methods: Genealogical, clinical, genetic, and functional studies were performed in three kindreds from New Zealand, the United States, and Colombia. A diaphragmatic pacemaker was implanted in the proband from the Colombian family to treat her respiratory insufficiency. Dopaminergic therapy was initiated in probands from two families. Results: Besides the probands, 17 symptomatic relatives from all families were identified. The cardinal signs of Perry syndrome were present in all three probands with symptomatic disease onset in their fifth or sixth decade of life. Parkinsonism was moderate with a partial response to dopaminergic treatment. All affected persons but two died of respiratory insufficiency. The proband from the Colombian family is alive most likely due to early diagnosis and implantation of a diaphragmatic pacemaker. Two-and-a-half-year follow-up examination has revealed that the diaphragmatic pacemaker is optimally functioning without any major complications. In the Colombian and US families, the DCTN1 p.G71R and in the New Zealand family the DCTN1 p.Y78C mutations were identified. In functional assays, both mutations altered microtubule binding consistent with a pathogenic role. Conclusions: Perry syndrome is a rare condition, but new cases are expected to be diagnosed worldwide. Early diagnosis prevents life-threatening acute respiratory failure. Diaphragmatic pacemakers should be considered as an effective symptomatic treatment option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)884-888
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • DCTN1
  • Familial
  • Gene mutation
  • Parkinsonism
  • Perry syndrome
  • Respiratory insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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