An African-American family with dystonia
The genetic cause of late-onset focal and segmental dystonia remains unknown in most individuals. Recently, mutations in Thanatos-associated protein domain containing, apoptosis associated protein 1 (THAP1) have been described in DYT6 dystonia and associated with some cases of familial and sporadic late-onset dystonia in Caucasians. We are not aware of any previous descriptions of familial dystonia in African-Americans or reports of THAP1 mutations in African-Americans. Herein, we characterize an African-American (AA) kindred with late-onset primary dystonia, clinically and genetically. The clinical phenotype included cervical, laryngeal and hand-forearm dystonia. Symptoms were severe and disabling for several family members, whereas others only displayed mild signs. There were no accompanying motor or cognitive signs. In this kindred, age of onset ranged from 45 to 50 years and onset was frequently sudden, with symptoms developing within weeks or months. DYT1 was excluded as the cause of dystonia in this kindred. The entire genomic region of THAP1, including non-coding regions, was sequenced. We identified 13 sequence variants in THAP1, although none co-segregated with dystonia. A novel THAP1 variant (c.-237-3G>T/A) was found in 3/84 AA dystonia patient alleles and 3/212 AA control alleles, but not in 5870 Caucasian alleles. In summary, although previously unreported, familial primary dystonia does occur in African-Americans. Genetic analysis of the entire genomic region of THAP1 revealed a novel variant that was specific for African-Americans. Therefore, genetic testing for dystonia and future studies of candidate genes must take genetic background into consideration. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Parkinsonism and Related Disorders
Puschmann, A., Xiao, J., Bastian, R., Searcy, J., LeDoux, M., & Wszolek, Z. (2011). An African-American family with dystonia. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 17 (7), 547-550. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2011.04.019