Task matters - challenging the motor system allows distinguishing unaffected Parkin mutation carriers from mutation-free controls

Jannik Prasuhn, Max Borsche, Andrew A. Hicks, Martin Gögele, Clemens Egger, Cleo Kritzinger, Irene Pichler, Maria Paulina Castelo-Rueda, Lynn Langlott, Meike Kasten, Deborah Mascalzoni, Christine Klein, Peter P. Pramstaller, Norbert Brüggemann*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


Background: Heterozygous carriers of Parkin mutations are suggested to be at risk of developing Parkinson's disease, while biallelic variants are associated with typical autosomal recessive early-onset PD. Investigating unaffected heterozygous mutation carriers holds the potential of a deeper understanding of monogenic PD and has implications for PD in general, in particular regarding the prodromal phase. Objectives: To discriminate healthy Parkin mutation carriers from healthy non-mutation carriers using a multimodal approach. Methods: Twenty-seven healthy heterozygous Parkin mutation carriers (13 female. age: 48 ± 13 years) and 24 healthy non-mutation carriers (14 female. age: 48 ± 15 years) from the CHRIS study (Cooperative Health Research in South Tyrol) were recalled based on their genetic profile and underwent a blinded assessment of motor and non-motor PD symptoms, transcranial sonography and sensor-based posturography and gait analyses under different conditions with increasing difficulty. For the latter, gradient-boosted trees were used to discriminate between carriers and non-carriers. The classification accuracy and the area under the curve of the receiver-operator characteristics curve were calculated. Results: We observed no differences concerning motor or non-motor symptoms and substantia nigra hyperechogenicity. The best gradient-boosted trees-based model on posturography measurements (tandem feet, eyes closed, firm surface), however, showed a classification accuracy of up to 86%. The best-performing gradient-boosted trees-based model for gait analyses showed a balanced accuracy of up to 87% (dual-tasking). Conclusions: Sensor-based quantification of movements allows to discriminate unaffected heterozygous mutation carriers from mutation-free controls. Thereby, it is crucial to challenge the motor system with more difficult tasks to unmask subtle motor alterations.

ZeitschriftParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Seiten (von - bis)101-104
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.05.2021


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