Clinical, pathophysiological and genetic features of motor symptoms in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease

Jonathan Vöglein, Katrina Paumier, Mathias Jucker, Oliver Preische, Eric McDade, Jason Hassenstab, Tammie L. Benzinger, James M. Noble, Sarah B. Berman, Neill R. Graff-Radford, Bernardino Ghetti, Martin R. Farlow, Jasmeer Chhatwal, Stephen Salloway, Chengjie Xiong, Celeste M. Karch, Nigel Cairns, Hiroshi Mori, Peter R. Schofield, Colin L. MastersAlison Goate, Virginia Buckles, Nick Fox, Martin Rossor, Patricio Chrem, Ricardo Allegri, John M. Ringman, Günter Höglinger, Harald Steiner, Marianne Dieterich, Christian Haass, Christoph Laske, John C. Morris, Randall J. Bateman, Adrian Danek, Johannes Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Owing to an early and marked deposition of amyloid-β in the basal ganglia, autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease could distinctly involve motor symptoms. Therefore, we aimed to assess the prevalence and characteristics of motor signs in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. Baseline Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale part three scores (UPDRS-III) from 433 participants of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network observational study were analysed. Motor symptoms were scrutinized with respect to associations with mutation carrier status, mutation site within PSEN1, basal ganglia amyloid-β as measured by Pittsburgh compound B PET, estimated years to symptom onset and Clinical Dementia Rating Scale-Sum of Boxes. Motor findings in mutation carriers were compared to patients with sporadic Alzheimer's disease using data of the National Alzheimer's Coordination Center. Mutation carriers showed motor findings at a higher frequency (28.4% versus 12.8%; P < 0.001) and severity (mean UPDRS-III scores 2.0 versus 0.4; P < 0.001) compared to non-carriers. Eleven of the 27 UPDRS-III items were statistically more frequently affected in mutation carriers after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Ten of these 11 items were subscale components of bradykinesia. In cognitively asymptomatic mutation carriers, dysdiadochokinesia was more frequent compared to non-carriers (right hand: 3.8% versus 0%; adjusted P = 0.023; left: 4.4% versus 0.6%; adjusted P = 0.031). In this cohort, the positive predictive value for mutation carrier status in cognitively asymptomatic participants (50% a priori risk) of dysdiadochokinesia was 100% for the right and 87.5% for the left side. Mutation carriers with motor findings more frequently were basal ganglia amyloid-β positive (84% versus 63.3%; P = 0.006) and showed more basal ganglia amyloid-β deposition (Pittsburgh compound B-standardized uptake value ratio 2.472 versus 1.928; P = 0.002) than those without. Frequency and severity of motor findings were greater in post-codon 200 PSEN1 mutations (36%; mean UPDRS-III score 3.03) compared to mutations pre-codon 200 PSEN1 (19.3%, P = 0.022; 0.91, P = 0.013). In mutation carriers, motor symptom severity was significantly positively correlated with basal ganglia amyloid-β deposition, Clinical Dementia Rating scores and estimated years to symptom onset. Mutation carriers with a Clinical Dementia Rating global score of 2 exhibited more pronounced motor symptoms than sporadic Alzheimer's disease patients with the same Clinical Dementia Rating global score (mean UPDRS-III scores 20.71 versus 5.96; P < 0.001). With a prevalence of approximately 30% and increasing severity with progression of dementia, motor symptoms are proven as a clinically relevant finding in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease, in particular in advanced dementia stages, that correlates with deposition of amyloid-β in the basal ganglia. In a very small per cent of cognitively asymptomatic members of families with autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease, dysdiadochokinesia may increase the chance of an individual's status as mutation carrier.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberawz050
Pages (from-to)1429-1440
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale
  • amyloid-β
  • genetics
  • motor symptoms


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