Background: Familial aggregation has been described in PD of both early and late onset, but has not been studied in a true population-based sample. Moreover, little is known about its association with disease progression and endophenotypes.
Objectives: The objectives of this work were to determine familial aggregation of idiopathic PD in a population-based cohort and study the association with clinical endophenotypes and disease progression.
Methods: We examined family history data from the Norwegian ParkWest study, a well-characterized, population-based cohort of incident PD patients and age-matched healthy controls. Family data were collected at baseline with a simplified questionnaire (192 cases and 193 controls) and after 3 years of longitudinal follow-up using an extended questionnaire (172 cases and 171 controls).
Results: Compared to the controls, the PD patients had an increased relative risk of having a first-degree relative with PD when using the extended questionnaire (relative risk = 1.988; P = 0.036), but not when using the simplified questionnaire (relative risk = 1.453; P = 0.224). There was no significant difference in age of onset or motor subtype (P = 0.801). However, cases with a family history of PD had reduced progression over 7 years as measured by UPDRS II (P = 0.008) and smaller rate of decrease of MMSE (P = 0.046).
Conclusions: Our findings confirm familial aggregation in a population-based cohort of idiopathic PD. Moreover, we show that positive family history of PD in patients is associated with a slower progression of PD symptoms and cognitive decline. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease; disease characteristics; familial aggregation; family history; first-degree relatives; genetics; prospective cohort.
© 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.