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Causes of inherited Parkinson's disease

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Despite Parkinson's disease being defined as idiopathic, there are a small proportion of patients who inherit the condition (upto 5% of the cases), usually in an autosomal dominant or -recessive inheritance (1,2).

Inherited conditions usually manifest as early onset Parkinson's disease (1).

The first gene for autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease has been identified. The gene codes for a pre-synaptic protein called alpha-synuclein which is responsible for the autosomal dominant form while autosomal-recessive forms are caused by mutations in the Parkin, DJ-1 and PINK1 genes (2).

Ten genes have been identified. In late 2004 a newer gene (LRRK2) has been identified which is considered to be responsible for the autosomal dominant form (2).

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