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Original Contribution
March 2011

Dementia Risk in Parkinson Disease: Disentangling the Role of MAPT Haplotypes

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Memory Unit (Ms Setó-Salvia, Drs Clarimón, Marquié, Alcolea, Suárez-Calvet, Molina-Porcel, Gómez-Isla, Blesa, Lleó, and Kulisevsky, and Mr Dols) and Movement Disorders Unit (Drs Pagonabarraga, Pascual-Sedano, and Martínez-Corral, Ms Campolongo, and Mr Regaña), Neurology Department, Hospital de Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona; Grupo de Autoecología Humana del Cuaternario, Universitat Rovira i Virgili-IPHES, Tarragona (Ms Setó-Salvia); Center for Networker Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (Drs Clarimón, Pagonabarraga, Pascual-Sedano, Combarros, Mateo, Martínez-Corral, Gómez-Isla, Blesa, Lleó, and Kulisevsky, Ms Campolongo, and Mr Regaña) and Neurology Department, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecillas, Santander (Drs Combarros and Mateo), Spain.

Arch Neurol. 2011;68(3):359-364. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.17

Background  Dementia in Parkinson disease (PD) causes nursing home placement, caregiver distress, higher health care burden, and increased mortality.

Objective  To determine whether the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) H1 haplotype and MAPT subhaplotypes play a role in the risk of PD and Parkinson disease–dementia (PDD) complex.

Design  Case-control genetic analysis.

Setting  Movement Disorders and Memory Units, Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.

Participants  Two hundred two patients with PD (48 of whom developed dementia >2 years after disease onset), 41 patients with Lewy body dementia (LBD, pathologically confirmed in 17), 164 patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), and 374 controls.

Methods  The MAPT haplotype was determined by testing for a 238-base pair deletion between exons 9 and 10, which is characteristic of the H2 haplotype. Haploview was used to visualize linkage disequilibrium relationships between all genetic variants (5 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and the del-In9 variant) within and surrounding the MAPT region.

Results  The H1 haplotype was significantly overrepresented in PD patients compared with controls (P = .001). Stratifying the PD sample by the presence of dementia revealed a stronger association in PDD patients (sex- and age-adjusted odds ratio, 3.73; P = .002) than in PD patients without dementia (sex- and age-adjusted odds ratio, 1.89; P = .04). Examination of specific subhaplotypes showed that a rare version of the H1 haplotype (named H1p) was overrepresented in PDD patients compared with controls (2.3% vs 0.1%; P = .003). No positive signals for any of the MAPT variants or H1 subhaplotypes were found in AD or LBD.

Conclusions  Our data confirm that MAPT H1 is associated with PD and has a strong influence on the risk of dementia in PD patients. Our results also suggest that none of the MAPT subhaplotypes play a significant role in other neurodegenerative diseases, such as LBD or AD.