Genetic Link Connects Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease

A recent study investigates the genetic connection between essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, two common movement disorders, according to research presented at The Movement Disorder Society’s 13th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

A variant in LINGO1, a central nervous system protein gene, has already been associated with an increased risk of essential tremor (ET). This study, led by Carles Vilariño-Güell, and colleagues, evaluates essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease patients from North America and Norway, using separate case-control series to evaluate each disorder. The analysis of both patient-controlled series indicated a significant association between the LINGO1 and risk of essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.

Thomas Gasser, MD, Director of Neurodegenerative Disorders at the University of Tübingen, Germany, states “The recent description of an association of genetic variants within the LINGO1 gene with ET has been the first solid molecular genetic finding in ET. On the other hand, a connection between ET and Parkinson disease (PD) has also been suspected based on epidemiologic studies which have demonstrated a high degree of co-occurrence of these disorders within families. It is now reported that variants in LINGO1 not only predispose to ET in several different populations, but that they are also associated with an increased risk for PD. Therefore, LINGO1 may be the “missing link” connecting the etiologies of the two most common movement disorders. This finding is another piece in the puzzle that defines the complex and interrelated etiology of PD and ET.”

Overall, the genetic association of both essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease with LINGO1 provides the first convincing evidence connecting these common movement disorders.

Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. More than 3,900 physicians and medical professionals from 90 countries will be able to view over 1,700 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.


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