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30.06.2017 | Professional Issue | Ausgabe 6/2017

Journal of Genetic Counseling 6/2017

Connecting Gaucher and Parkinson Disease: Considerations for Clinical and Research Genetic Counseling Settings

Journal of Genetic Counseling > Ausgabe 6/2017
Lola Cook, Jeanine Schulze


There are multiple autosomal recessive disorders in which carriers may be at risk for other diseases. This observation calls into question the previous understanding that carriers of autosomal recessive disorders escape clinical consequences. We also know that childhood genetic conditions may have adult disease counterparts (Zimran et al., The Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ, 16(11), 723–724, 2014). Individuals who have Gaucher disease and carriers of the disorder are at increased risk for a seemingly unrelated and complex neurological condition, Parkinson disease. Parkinson disease is, in part, caused by the same mutations in the GBA gene that lead to Gaucher disease, and the two conditions are thought to have shared pathophysiology. Briefly reviewed are how these two diseases historically became linked, where their paths cross, potential problems and considerations in disclosure of the link, and current guidelines and research in this area. Genetic counseling experience with a large Parkinson disease cohort is used as a starting point to question the state of clinical and nonclinical practice in disclosing this unusual connection We conclude that more research and discussion are needed to inform practice regarding the crossroads of Gaucher and Parkinson disease.

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