Semin Neurol 2006; 26(5): 492-498
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-951621
Copyright © 2006 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Clinical Implications of Parkinson's Disease Genetics

Matthew T. Lorincz1
  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
17 October 2006 (online)


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a significant neurodegenerative disease of the elderly, affecting 1 to 2% of those over 60 years of age. The disorder is characterized by resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, postural instability, and pathologically by α-synuclein-positive Lewy bodies. For most, the etiology is unknown and it is likely due to a multifactorial interaction of genes and the environment. In a minority, a clear environmental, toxic, or genetic etiology is determined. Six genes have been identified to cause diseases often indistinguishable from sporadic PD. Although accounting for only 1 to 3% of PD, the identification of single genes that cause PD clearly indicate that PD can have solely genetic causes. In addition to single-gene mutations, large familial aggregation and twin studies demonstrate a modest genetic component in idiopathic PD.


Matthew T Lorincz, M.D. , Ph.D. 

Department of Neurology, University of Michigan

109 Zina Pitcher Place, 5019 Biological Science Research Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109