Background: PLA2G6 is the causative gene for infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, neurodegeneration associated with brain iron accumulation, and Karak syndrome. Based on previous reports, patients with PLA2G6 mutations could show axonal dystrophy, dystonia, dementia, and cerebellar signs. Recently, PLA2G6 was also reported as the causative gene for early-onset PARK14-linked dystonia-parkinsonism.
Methods: To clarify the role of PLA2G6 mutation in parkinsonism, we conducted mutation analysis in 29 selected patients with very early-onset (≤ 30, mean 21.2 ± 8.4 years, ± SD) parkinsonism. These patients had other clinical features (e.g., mental retardation/dementia [14/29], psychosis [15/29], dystonia [11/29], and hyperreflexia [11/29]).
Results: Two novel compound heterozygous PLA2G6 mutations were detected (patient A: p.F72L/p.R635Q; patients B1 and B2: p.Q452X/p.R635Q). All 3 patients had early-onset l-dopa-responsive parkinsonism with dementia and frontotemporal lobar atrophy. Disease progression was relatively rapid. SPECT in patient B1 showed frontotemporal lobar hypoperfusion. MRI in patient A showed iron accumulation in the substantia nigra and striatum.
Conclusions: Although the clinical presentation of PLA2G6-associated neurodegeneration was reported to be homogeneous, our findings suggest patients with PLA2G6 mutation could show heterogeneous phenotype such as dystonia-parkinsonism, dementia, frontotemporal atrophy/hypoperfusion, with or without brain iron accumulation. Based on the clinical heterogeneity, the functional roles of PLA2G6 and the roles of PLA2G6 variants including single heterozygous mutations should be further elucidated in patients with atypical parkinsonism, dementia, or Parkinson disease. PLA2G6 mutations should be considered in patients with early-onset l-dopa-responsive parkinsonism and dementia with frontotemporal lobar atrophy.