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Ann Neurol. 2006 May;59(5):788-95.

Complex segregation analysis of Parkinson's disease: The Mayo Clinic Family Study.

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Division of Biostatistics, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To conduct complex segregation analyses of Parkinson's disease (PD).


Data on the familial aggregation of PD remain conflicting. We conducted a historical cohort study of 1,234 relatives of 162 patients with PD representative of people of Olmsted County, MN, and of 3,009 relatives of 411 patients with PD referred to the Mayo Clinic. Relatives were interviewed and screened for parkinsonism either directly or through a proxy, those who screened positive were examined, or a copy of their medical record was obtained to confirm the diagnosis. For subjects who resided in Olmsted County, additional information was obtained from the archives of the Olmsted County Historical Society and from a records-linkage system.


Thirty-two relatives of population-based probands and 69 relatives of referral patients developed PD (101 in total). Combining population-based and referral samples, the model that best explained the familial clustering of PD overall was a major gene with additive effect on the penetrance. This model predicted an average decrease in age at onset of PD of approximately 18 years for each copy of the putative high-risk allele. The best fitting model for younger onset PD (age <or= 59 years) was an autosomal recessive model. The best fitting models for older onset PD (age > 59 years) were a recessive or an additive model.


The familial aggregation of PD may be explained in part by a major gene with additive effect on the penetrance.

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