Mutations in seven genes are robustly associated with autosomal dominant (SNCA, LRRK2, EIF4G1, VPS35) or recessive (parkin/PARK2, PINK1, DJ1/PARK7) Parkinson's disease (PD) or parkinsonism. Changes in a long list of additional genes have been suggested as causes for parkinsonism or PD, including genes for hereditary ataxias (ATXN2, ATXN3, FMR1), frontotemporal dementia (C9ORF72, GRN, MAPT, TARDBP), DYT5 (GCH1, TH, SPR), and others (ATP13A2, CSF1R, DNAJC6, FBXO, GIGYF2, HTRA2, PLA2G6, POLG, SPG11, UCHL1). This review summarizes the clinical features of diseases caused by mutations in these genes, and their frequencies. Point mutations and multiplications in SNCA cause cognitive or psychiatric symptoms, parkinsonism, dysautonomia and myoclonus with widespread alpha-synuclein pathology in the central and peripheral nervous system. LRRK2 mutations may lead to a clinical phenotype closely resembling idiopathic PD with a puzzling variety in neuropathology. Mutations in parkin/PARK2, PINK1 or DJ1/PARK7 may cause early-onset parkinsonism with a low risk for cognitive decline and a pathological process usually restricted to the brainstem. Carriers of mutations in the other genes may develop parkinsonism with or without additional symptoms, but rarely a disease resembling PD. The pathogenicity of several mutations remains unconfirmed. Although some mutations occur with high frequency in specific populations, worldwide all are very rare. The genetic cause of the majority of patients with sporadic or hereditary PD remains unknown in most populations. Clinical genetic testing is useful for selected patients. Testing strategies need to be adapted individually based on clinical phenotype and estimated frequency of the mutation in the patient's population.
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