Hierarchical data-driven analysis of clinical symptoms among patients with Parkinson's disease

Tal Kozlovski, Alexis Mitelpunkt, Avner Thaler, Tanya Gurevich, Avi Orr-Urtreger, Mali Gana-Weisz, Netta Shachar, Tal Galili, Mira Marcus-Kalish, Susan Bressman, Karen Marder, Nir Giladi, Yoav Benjamini, Anat Mirelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Mutations in the LRRK2 and GBA genes are the most common inherited causes of Parkinson's disease (PD). Studies exploring phenotypic differences based on genetic status used hypothesis-driven data-gathering and statistical-analyses focusing on specific symptoms, which may influence the validity of the results. We aimed to explore phenotypic expression in idiopathic PD (iPD) patients, G2019S-LRRK2-PD, and GBA-PD using a data-driven approach, allowing screening of large numbers of features while controlling selection bias. Data was collected from 1525 Ashkenazi Jews diagnosed with PD from the Tel-Aviv Medical center; 161 G2019S-LRRK2-PD, 222 GBA-PD, and 1142 iPD (no G2019S-LRRK2 or any of the 7 AJ GBA mutations tested). Data included 771 measures: demographics, cognitive, physical and neurological functions, performance-based measures, and non-motor symptoms. The association of the genotypes with each of the measures was tested while accounting for age at motor symptoms onset, gender, and disease duration; p-values were reported and corrected in a hierarchical approach for an average over the selected measures false discovery rate control, resulting in 32 measures. GBA-PD presented with more severe symptoms expression while LRRK2-PD had more benign symptoms compared to iPD. GBA-PD presented greater cognitive and autonomic involvement, more frequent hyposmia and REM sleep behavior symptoms while these were less frequent among LRRK2-PD compared to iPD. Using a data-driven analytical approach strengthens earlier studies and extends them to portray a possible unique disease phenotype based on genotype among AJ PD. Such findings could help direct a more personalized therapeutic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number531
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 2019


  • G2019S-LRRK2
  • GBA
  • Hierarchical testing
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Selective inference


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