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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2012 Jan;18 Suppl 1:S138-9. doi: 10.1016/S1353-8020(11)70043-8.

Genetics of essential tremor.

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Department of Neurology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.


Essential tremor (ET) is a prevalent condition manifesting with progressive action tremor. Although ET was traditionally viewed as a sporadic disease, a significant proportion of cases report a positive family history of tremor. Autosomal dominant inheritance can be demonstrated in many families. Previously, genome-wide linkage studies in families mapped three loci for ET, hereditary essential tremor-1 (ETM1), ETM2 and ETM3. However, no causal mutation has been replicated in candidate genes within these loci, including dopamine D3 receptor (DRD3) and HS1-binding protein 3 (HS1BP3). Recently, the first genome-wide association study in ET followed by replication studies conducted in diverse populations identified a significant association between the leucine-rich repeat and Ig domain containing 1 gene (LINGO1) SNP rs9652490 and risk for ET Although further novel variants were indentified in LINGO1 and its paralog LINGO2 that may be associated with risk for ET, the pathogenic mechanisms involved remain elusive. Given the possibility that ET as a complex trait may be influenced by the combined effects of rare variants, novel high-throughput technologies sequencing all exons across the genome (exome sequencing) or the whole genome (genome sequencing) may become crucial in understanding/deciphering the genetic background of ET.

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