Novel hyperkinetic dystonia-like manifestation and neurological disease course of Swedish Gaucher patients

Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2018 Feb:68:86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2016.10.011. Epub 2016 Oct 21.


Background: Neuronopathic Gaucher disease type 3 (GD3) is frequent in northern Sweden, whereas GD1 is found throughout the country. In a nation-wide study, we examined neurological manifestations and clinical course in 12 patients with GD3 and 13 patients with GD1.

Methods: The patients were evaluated by standardized neurological assessments. Every sixth month, the GD3 patients were rated with the modified Severity Scoring Tool. At baseline and at the 3years follow-up, patients underwent University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test, Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. When clinical signs were present, additional examinations were undertaken.

Results: Marked clinical heterogeneity was evident in both GD3 and GD1 groups. Several GD3 patients had a hitherto unreported rapid and repetitive dystonia-like hyperkinetic movement disorder. Most patients with GD3 have abnormalities of horizontal gaze, ataxia and focal epilepsy, some also had cognitive impairment, anxiety and hyposmia. Six GD3 patients, all homoallelic for L444P GBA1 mutations, have lived beyond 40years of age; and none has developed Parkinsonism. Two of the GD1 patients suffer from Parkinsonism; mild to complete hyposmia was present in six GD3 and five GD1 patients. Neither the group of GD3 nor GD1 patients had detectable progression of their neurological manifestations.

Conclusions: These middle-aged and older Swedish GD3 or GD1 patients are clinically stable over time. However, we have identified unusual clinical features, discordant phenotypes and a hyperkinetic dystonia-like movement disorder which appears unique to this Swedish disease variant and expands the phenotype for GD.

Keywords: Dystonia; GBA1; Gaucher disease; Glucocerebrosidase; Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / complications
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Dystonia / complications*
  • Dystonia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gaucher Disease / complications*
  • Gaucher Disease / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperkinesis / complications*
  • Hyperkinesis / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Young Adult