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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2008 Sep;115(9):1279-84. doi: 10.1007/s00702-008-0074-z. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

Clinical characteristics of Parkinson's disease among Jewish Ethnic groups in Israel.

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  • 1Movement Disorders Unit, Department of Neurology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, 49100 Petah Tiqwa, Israel.


Yemenite Jews in Israel are a distinctive ethnic division of the Jewish diaspora. Clinical findings, disease course and genetic tests for the LRRK2 6055G > A (G2019S) mutation were compared between Ashkenazi and Yemenite Israeli patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Age of onset was significantly younger in the Yemenites (P < 0.001). There were no differences in the distribution of initial symptoms, environmental risk factors or rate of motor/non-motor phenomena. The Yemenite group had a more severe disease (P < 0.001), and a more rapid disease course (P = 0.006). The frequency of Lrrk2 substitution was 12.7% in the Ashkenazi group and was not observed in the Yemenites. These results show that there are differences between Israeli Jewish ethnic groups in the severity and progression of PD, but not in clinical symptoms. The high frequency of Lrrk2 G2019S in the Ashkenazi and its absence in the Yemenite Jews suggests a specific ancestral pattern of inheritance in Ashkenazi Jews.

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