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See detailGBA variants in Parkinson’s disease: clinical, metabolomic and multimodal neuroimaging phenotypes
Greuel, Andrea; Trezzi, Jean-Pierre UL; Glaab, Enrico UL et al

in Movement Disorders (2020), 35(12), 2201-2210

Background: Alterations in the GBA gene (NM_000157.3) are the most important genetic risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. Biallelic GBA mutations cause the lysosomal storage disorder Gaucher´s disease ... [more ▼]

Background: Alterations in the GBA gene (NM_000157.3) are the most important genetic risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. Biallelic GBA mutations cause the lysosomal storage disorder Gaucher´s disease. The GBA variants p.E365K and p.T408M are associated with Parkinson’s but not with Gaucher´s disease. The pathophysiological role of these variants needs to be further explored. Objective: This study analyzed the clinical, neuropsychological, metabolic and neuroimaging phenotypes of Parkinson’s disease patients carrying the GBA variants p.E365K and p.T408M. Methods: GBA was sequenced in 56 mid-stage Parkinson’s disease patients. Carriers of GBA variants were compared to non-carriers regarding clinical history and symptoms, neuropsychological features, metabolomics and multimodal neuroimaging. Blood plasma gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, [18F]FDopa PET, [18F]FDG PET, and resting-state fMRI were performed. Results: Sequence analysis detected 13 heterozygous GBA variant carriers (seven with p.E365K, six with p.T408M). One patient carried a GBA mutation (p.N409S) and was excluded. Clinical history and symptoms were not significantly different between groups. Global cognitive performance was lower in variant carriers. Metabolomic group differences were suggestive of more severe Parkinson’s disease-related alterations in carriers versus non-carriers. [18F]FDopa and [18F]FDG PET showed signs of a more advanced disease; [18F]FDG PET and fMRI showed similarities with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease dementia in carriers. Conclusions: This is the first study to comprehensively assess (neuro-)biological phenotypes of GBA variants in Parkinson’s disease. Metabolomics and neuroimaging detected more significant group differences than clinical and behavioral evaluation. These alterations could be promising to monitor effects of disease-modifying treatments targeting glucocerebrosidase metabolism. [less ▲]

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