Background: Mutations in GBA and LRRK2 genes have been implicated in Parkinson disease (PD), particularly in Ashkenazi Jews.
Methods: An Israeli Ashkenazi cohort of 420 patients with PD, 333 elderly controls, and 3,805 young controls was screened for eight GBA mutations, which are associated with mild (N370S, R496H) and severe (84GG, IVS2 + 1, V394L, D409H, L444P, RecTL) Gaucher disease. Patients with PD and elderly controls were also genotyped for LRRK2 G2019S.
Results: GBA carrier frequency was 17.9% in patients with PD compared to 4.2% in elderly and 6.35% in young controls. The proportion of severe mutation carriers among PD patient GBA carriers was 29% compared to 7% among young controls. Severe and mild GBA mutations increased the risk of developing PD by 13.6- and 2.2-fold, and affected the average age at PD onset (AAO), 55.7 and 57.9 years, compared to 60.7 years in patients without known GBA or LRRK2 mutations.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate genotype-phenotype correlations between different GBA mutations and Parkinson disease (PD) risk and AAO in Ashkenazi Jews. Additionally, an earlier AAO was observed in LRRK2 G2019S carrier PD patients. Finally, these data demonstrate that a surprisingly high frequency, more than one third of our patient population, carried a mutation in GBA or LRRK2.