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Essential tremor (ET) is a common movement disorder with ˜5% prevalence in individuals above the age of 65, but in rare cases, it arises during childhood. Growing evidence suggests the role of cerebellum in the disease mechanism. ET is highly heritable, however, poor replication of risk loci point to its significant heterogeneity. Thus, it is important to genetically investigate kindreds with a strong aggregation of ET.
We conducted a clinical and whole-genome investigation of a large Caucasian Canadian family, in which six out of eight patients are affected by childhood-onset ET in four consecutive generations. Eight family members were available for study, including three patients affected by ET. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was conducted for the four most informative individuals, followed by Sanger sequencing in the entire kindred.
We searched for rare variants absent in the eldest unaffected individual, but present in the patients (two siblings and their third-degree relative). Our stringent whole-genome filtering approach revealed a rare heterozygous p. Arg90Gln substitution in TCP10L (rs151233771) in all three investigated patients. Sanger sequencing confirmed the p. Arg90Gln variant and revealed its absence in the rest of the family members.
Whole-genome data of the family with ET resulted in a single candidate gene mapped to 21q22.11 locus (TCP10L) with the highest brain expression in cerebellum. Our study encourages future replication studies to validate the genetic link between TCP10L and ET, and suggests the p. Arg90Gln variant for functional investigation.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
There is accumulating evidence for the role of fronto-striatal and associated circuits in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) but limited and conflicting data on alterations in cortical thickness.
To investigate alterations in cortical thickness and subcortical volume in OCD.
In total, 412 patients with OCD and 368 healthy adults underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans. Between-group analysis of covariance of cortical thickness and subcortical volumes was performed and regression analyses undertaken.
Significantly decreased cortical thickness was found in the OCD group compared with controls in the superior and inferior frontal, precentral, posterior cingulate, middle temporal, inferior parietal and precuneus gyri. There was also a group x age interaction in the parietal cortex, with increased thinning with age in the OCD group relative to controls.
Our findings are partially consistent with earlier work, suggesting that group differences in grey matter volume and cortical thickness could relate to the same underlying pathology of OCD. They partially support a frontostriatal model of OCD, but also suggest that limbic, temporal and parietal regions play a role in the pathophysiology of the disorder. The group x age interaction effects may be the result of altered neuroplasticity.