The relative risk of developing idiopathic PD is 1.5 times greater in men than in women, but an increased female prevalence in LRRK2-carriers has been described in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. We report an update about the frequency of major LRRK2 mutations in a large series of consecutive patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), including extensive characterization of clinical features. In particular, we investigated gender-related differences in motor and non-motor symptoms in the LRRK2 population. Methods: 2976 unrelated consecutive Italian patients with degenerative Parkinsonism were screened for mutations on exon 41 (G2019S, I2020T) and a subgroup of 1190 patients for mutations on exon 31 (R1441C/G/H). Demographic and clinical features were compared between LRRK2-carriers and non-carriers, and between male and female LRRK2 mutation carriers. Results: LRRK2 mutations were identified in 40 of 2523 PD patients (1.6%) and not in other primary parkinsonian syndromes. No major clinical differences were found between LRRK2-carriers and non-carriers. We found a novel I2020L missense variant, predicted to be pathogenic. Female gender was more common amongst carriers than non-carriers (57% vs. 40%; p=0.01), without any gender-related difference in clinical features. Family history of PD was more common in women in the whole PD group, regardless of their LRRK2 status. Conclusions: PD patients with LRRK2 mutations are more likely to be women, suggesting a stronger genetic load compared to idiopathic PD. Further studies are needed to elucidate whether there is a different effect of gender on the balance between genetic and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of PD. Â© 2014 The Authors.
- Parkinson disease