Parkinsonism and distinct dementia patterns in a family with the MAPT R406W mutation

Alzheimers Dement. 2014 May;10(3):360-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2013.02.011. Epub 2013 May 30.


Background: The Arg406Trp (R406W) missense mutation in the microtubule-associated protein-tau gene (MAPT) is a known cause of early-onset dementia. Various dementia phenotypes have been described, including frontotemporal dementia (FTD), FTD with parkinsonism, and early-onset Alzheimer disease (EOAD)-like presentations.

Methods: Using whole-exome capture with subsequent sequencing, we identified the R406W mutation in a family with multiple individuals with clinically diagnosed EOAD, in a pattern suggesting autosomal dominant inheritance. We reevaluated all available family members clinically.

Results: Each of the affected individuals had a course meeting clinical criteria for EOAD. Two distinct disease trajectories were apparent: one rapidly progressive, and the other long and gradual. Four of five affected individuals also manifested parkinsonian symptoms. FTD features were not prominent and, when present, appeared only late in the course of dementia.

Conclusions: The MAPT R406W mutation is associated with EOAD-like symptoms and parkinsonism without FTD, as well as distinct cognitive courses.

Keywords: Dementia; Early-onset Alzheimer's disease; Frontotemporal dementia; Microtubule-associated protein-tau; Whole-exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods
  • Dementia / genetics*
  • Dementia / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / genetics*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Pedigree
  • tau Proteins / genetics*


  • MAPT protein, human
  • tau Proteins