Is Parkinson's disease a lysosomal disorder?

Brain. 2018 Aug 1;141(8):2255-2262. doi: 10.1093/brain/awy147.


Common forms of Parkinson's disease have long been described as idiopathic, with no single penetrant genetic factor capable of influencing disease aetiology. Recent genetic studies indicate a clear association of variants within several lysosomal genes as risk factors for idiopathic Parkinson's disease. The emergence of novel variants suggest that the aetiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease may be explained by the interaction of several partially penetrant mutations that, while seemingly complex, all appear to converge on cellular clearance pathways. These newly evolving data are consistent with mechanistic studies linking α-synuclein toxicity to lysosomal abnormalities, and indicate that idiopathic Parkinson's disease resembles features of Mendelian lysosomal storage disorders at a genetic and biochemical level. These findings offer novel pathways to exploit for the development of disease-altering therapies for idiopathic Parkinson's disease that target specific components of the lysosomal system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Gaucher Disease / genetics
  • Gaucher Disease / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / genetics
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Lysosomes / genetics
  • Lysosomes / physiology
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • alpha-Synuclein / metabolism


  • alpha-Synuclein