Large-scale exploratory genetic analysis of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease

Ignacio F. Mata, Catherine O. Johnson, James B. Leverenz, Daniel Weintraub, John Q. Trojanowski, Vivianna M. Van Deerlin, Beate Ritz, Rebecca Rausch, Stewart A. Factor, Cathy Wood-Siverio, Joseph F. Quinn, Kathryn A. Chung, Amie L. Peterson-Hiller, Alberto J. Espay, Fredy J. Revilla, Johnna Devoto, Dora Yearout, Shu Ching Hu, Brenna A. Cholerton, Thomas J. MontineKaren L. Edwards, Cyrus P. Zabetian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Cognitive impairment is a common and disabling problem in Parkinson's disease (PD). Identification of genetic variants that influence the presence or severity of cognitive deficits in PD might provide a clearer understanding of the pathophysiology underlying this important nonmotor feature. We genotyped 1105 PD patients from the PD Cognitive Genetics Consortium for 249,336 variants using the NeuroX array. Participants underwent assessments of learning and memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised [HVLT-R]), working memory/executive function (Letter-Number Sequencing and Trail Making Test [TMT] A and B), language processing (semantic and phonemic verbal fluency), visuospatial abilities (Benton Judgment of Line Orientation [JoLO]), and global cognitive function (Montreal Cognitive Assessment). For common variants, we used linear regression to test for association between genotype and cognitive performance with adjustment for important covariates. Rare variants were analyzed using the optimal unified sequence kernel association test. The significance threshold was defined as a false discovery rate-corrected p-value (PFDR) of 0.05. Eighteen common variants in 13 genomic regions exceeded the significance threshold for one of the cognitive tests. These included GBA rs2230288 (E326K; PFDR = 2.7 × 10−4) for JoLO, PARP4 rs9318600 (PFDR = 0.006), and rs9581094 (PFDR = 0.006) for HVLT-R total recall, and MTCL1 rs34877994 (PFDR = 0.01) for TMT B-A. Analysis of rare variants did not yield any significant gene regions. We have conducted the first large-scale PD cognitive genetics analysis and nominated several new putative susceptibility genes for cognitive impairment in PD. These results will require replication in independent PD cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211.e1-211.e7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Genetics
  • NeuroX
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Developmental Biology


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