Tau acts as an independent genetic risk factor in pathologically proven PD

Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Apr;33(4):838.e7-11. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.11.001. Epub 2012 Jan 4.


MAPT has been repeatedly linked with Parkinson's disease (PD) in association studies. Although tau deposition may be seen in PD, its relevance to the pathogenesis of the condition remains unclear. The presence of tau-positive inclusions is, however, the defining feature of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), which may often be clinically misdiagnosed as idiopathic PD. On a genetic level, variants in MAPT are the strongest risk factor for PSP. These facts raise the question whether the MAPT association in PD results from contamination with unrecognized cases of PSP. Using only neuropathologically proven PD, we show that the MAPT association remains and is independent of the PSP Association.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Risk Factors*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / genetics
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / pathology
  • tau Proteins / genetics*


  • MAPT protein, human
  • tau Proteins