Essential tremor (ET) is among the most common neurological diseases, with a prevalence (age >40 years) estimated to be 4.0% and prevalence in advanced age (>90 years) exceeding 20.0%. The underlying pathogenesis remains poorly understood and, as a consequence, current medications are empiric and of limited efficacy. There are only two front-line medications, a situation that has not changed in more than 30 years, and one in two patients simply stops these medications due to poor efficacy. The foremost obstacle to the study of pathogenesis is the absence of an animal (genetic) model for this disease. ET (often referred to as """"""""familial tremor""""""""), is generally regarded as a highly-genetic disorder, with physicians commonly seeing families with affecteds over multiple generations, and twin studies showing high concordance among monozygotes. Despite this, as of 2010, genetic studies have not advanced to the point where susceptibility genes have been identified. Previously published studies of linkage in families suggest that susceptibility loci contribute to the etiology of ET. In the current application we will build on previous studies and propose to use a linkage and resequencing approach to identify susceptibility genes for familial early-onset (<40 years) ET. To overcome the problems associated with previously published genetic studies of ET, which did not use strict phenotype definition in assigning affectedness status, we will use strict diagnostic criteria of 'definite'or 'probable'ET for inclusion of probands and affected individuals in families and further restrict our inclusion to individuals with pure ET (i.e. no dystonia) to reduce heterogeneity and to increase our power to detect a linkage signal. We will also focus on multiplex and multigenerational early onset ET families. To date we have already identified 96 families with an affected proband and >2 living first-degree relatives with ET and in 74 (77%) of families, the proband's age at onset was <40 years.

Public Health Relevance

ET, a highly genetic disorder, is the most common cause of tremor in humans, affecting large numbers of individuals worldwide. Current treatments, which are largely unsuccessful, are empiric. Therapies based on an understanding of disease pathogenesis are needed, yet the absence of any identified genes and the resultant lack of an animal model, is the foremost obstacle standing in the way of these studies.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01NS073872-01
Application #
8086857
Study Section
Neurological, Aging and Musculoskeletal Epidemiology (NAME)
Program Officer
Sieber, Beth-Anne
Project Start
2011-09-15
Project End
2014-07-31
Budget Start
2011-09-15
Budget End
2012-07-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$525,944
Indirect Cost
Name
Columbia University (N.Y.)
Department
Pathology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
621889815
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10032
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Louis, Elan D; Badejo, Funmi M; Cristal, Ashley D et al. (2017) Early Head Tremor in Essential Tremor: A Case Series and Commentary. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y) 7:453
Louis, Elan D; Hernandez, Nora; Chen, Karen P et al. (2017) Familial Aggregation of the Cerebellar Signs in Familial Essential Tremor. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y) 7:439
Louis, Elan D; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Tate, William J et al. (2017) Cerebellar pathology in childhood-onset vs. adult-onset essential tremor. Neurosci Lett 659:69-74
Lenka, Abhishek; Pal, Pramod Kumar; Bhatti, Danish Ejaz et al. (2017) Pathogenesis of Primary Orthostatic Tremor: Current Concepts and Controversies. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y) 7:513
Louis, Elan D; Patel, Amar; Gerrard, Jason L (2017) What is the pathway forward for the surgical management of essential tremor? Ann Neurol 81:351-353
Serrano, J Ignacio; Romero, Juan P; Castillo, Ma Dolores Del et al. (2017) A data mining approach using cortical thickness for diagnosis and characterization of essential tremor. Sci Rep 7:2190
Lenka, Abhishek; Benito-León, Julian; Louis, Elan D (2017) Is there a Premotor Phase of Essential Tremor? Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y) 7:498
Kuo, Sheng-Han; Wang, Jie; Tate, William J et al. (2017) Cerebellar Pathology in Early Onset and Late Onset Essential Tremor. Cerebellum 16:473-482
Kuo, Sheng-Han; Lin, Chi-Ying; Wang, Jie et al. (2017) Climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synaptic pathology in tremor and cerebellar degenerative diseases. Acta Neuropathol 133:121-138

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