New triggers and non-motor findings in a family with rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism

Richard L. Barbano, Deborah F. Hill, Beverly M. Snively, Laney S. Light, Niki Boggs, W. Vaughn McCall, Mark Stacy, Laurie Ozelius, Kathleen J. Sweadner, Allison Brashear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: A woman from Italy presented with dystonic leg symptoms at the age of 59. Rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP) was not suspected until 3 affected children (2 male, 1 female) with presentations consistent with the disorder were recognized. Methods: The mother and four of her children (3 with and 1 without dystonia) were evaluated with an extensive battery including standardized history questionnaire and rating scales. In addition, all four children had cognitive testing and three of the four children had psychiatric interviews. Results: In this family, a T613M mutation in the ATP1A3 gene was confirmed, the most common mutation present in patients with RDP. The proband's limb dystonia was atypical of RDP, symptoms of the others affected included dysarthria, asymmetric limb dystonia, and dysphagia more consistent with RDP. The two sons developed dystonia-parkinsonism in adolescence after consuming large amounts of alcohol. All 3 of those with psychiatric interviews reached diagnosable thresholds for mood disorder (bipolar or dysthymia) and some form of anxiety disorder. Conclusions: The phenotype and age of onset is broader than previously reported in RDP, suggesting that it could be under-reported. Prior to this study, neuropsychologic symptoms associated with RDP were under-appreciated. Those patients who are at risk or suspected of having RDP should be cautioned to avoid excessive alcohol intake. Further study is needed to assess if the cognitive and psychiatric features are part of a broader RDP phenotype and this may have implications for future research into genetic susceptibility for psychiatric disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-741
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • DYT-12
  • Dystonia
  • RDP
  • Rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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