Differences in Sex-Specific Frequency of Glucocerebrosidase Variant Carriers and Familial Parkinsonism

Roberto A. Ortega, Susan B. Bressman, Deborah Raymond, Laurie J. Ozelius, Viktoriya Katsnelson, Katherine Leaver, Matthew C. Swan, Vicki Shanker, Joan Miravite, Cuiling Wang, Steffany A.L. Bennett, Rachel Saunders-Pullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Although men and women with the LRRK2 G2019S variant appear to be equally likely to have Parkinson's disease (PD), the sex-distribution among glucocerebrosidase (GBA) variant carriers with PD, including limited to specific variant severities of GBA, is not well understood. Further, the sex-specific genetic contribution to PD without a known genetic variant is controversial. Objectives: To better understand sex differences in genetic contribution to PD, especially sex-specific frequencies among GBA variant carriers with PD (GBA PD) and LRRK2-G2019S variant carriers with PD (LRRK2 PD). Methods: We assess differences in the sex-specific frequency in GBA PD, including in subsets of GBA variant severity, LRRK2 PD, and idiopathic PD in an Ashkenazi Jewish cohort with PD. Further, we expand prior work evaluating differences in family history of parkinsonism. Results: Both idiopathic PD (267/420 men, 63.6%) (P < 0.001) and GBA PD overall (64/107, 59.8%) (P = 0.042) were more likely to be men, whereas no difference was seen in LRRK2 PD (50/99, 50.5%) and LRRK2/GBA PD (5/10, 50%). However, among GBA PD probands, severe variant carriers were more likely to be women (15/19 women, 79.0%) (P = 0.005), whereas mild variant carriers (44/70 men, 62.9%) (P = 0.039) and risk-variant carriers (15/17 men, 88.2%) (P = 0.001) were more likely to be men. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that the male-sex predominance present in GBA PD overall was not consistent across GBA variant severities, and a female-sex predominance was present among severe GBA variant carriers. Therefore, research and trial designs for PD should consider sex-specific differences, including across GBA variant severities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2217-2225
Number of pages9
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • GBA
  • LRRK2
  • Parkinson's
  • family history
  • sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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