The alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA) multiplication causes autosomal dominant Parkinson Disease (PD): triplication is associated with early-onset rapidly progressing parkinsonism with a strong likelihood of developing dementia, while duplication is associated with a less severe phenotype similar to idiopathic PD.
NACP/alpha-synuclein and tau constitute two distinctive subsets of filaments in the same neuronal inclusions in brains from a family of parkinsonism and dementia with Lewy bodies: double-immunolabeling fluorescence and electron microscopic studies.
The discoveries of genes related to hereditary forms of parkinsonism (PARK1, PARK2, PARK6, PARK7 and PARK8) have increased our understanding either of distinct subtypes of clinical expression in PD or its etiology.
We found that over half of the reported cases with SNCA duplication had early-onset parkinsonism and non-motor features, such as dysautonomia, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD), hallucinations (usually visual) and cognitive deficits leading to dementia.
The SNCA duplication case presented with a clinical phenotype of frontotemporal dementia with marked behavioural changes, pyramidal signs, postural hypotension and transiently levodopa responsive parkinsonism.
Synucleinopathies are a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the intracellular deposition of the protein α-synuclein leading to multiple outcomes, including dementia and Parkinsonism.
Mutations in the alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) gene are responsible for a rare familial parkinsonism syndrome, a finding that has led to extensive characterization of altered alpha-syn structure in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative disorders.
We have shown in the parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxin MPP(+)/MPTP model that alpha-Synuclein (alpha-Syn), a presynaptic protein causal in Parkinson's disease (PD), contributes to hyperphosphorylation of Tau (p-Tau), a protein normally linked to tauopathies, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD).
The knowledge accumulated thus far has delineated two putative, potentially interconnected, disease-causing pathways: alpha-synuclein accumulation may be central to Parkinsonism due to alpha-synuclein gene defects, but possibly also to sporadic PD and other genetic forms presenting with Lewy bodies; altered mitochondrial physiology may be pivotal to Parkinsonian syndromes caused by parkin, PINK1, and possibly DJ-1 gene mutations.
The genetic basis for familial parkinsonism is an SNCA-MMRN11 multiplication, but whereas SNCA-MMRN1 duplication in the Swedish proband (Branch J) leads to late-onset autonomic dysfunction and parkinsonism, SNCA-MMRN1 triplication in the Swedish American family (Branch I) leads to early-onset Parkinson disease and dementia.