Familial late-onset focal dystonia in an African American family

Research output: Contribution to journalPublished meeting abstract


Recent studies of THAP1 (DYT6) have pointed out that late-onset focal dystonia can have a genetic basis. Familial late-onset primary dystonia has not been described in African- Americans. Six members of an African American family were affected by focal or segmental dystonia with a mean age at onset of 47 years (range, 45-50). Two additional individuals with milder clinical signs were classified as probably affected. Clinical phenotypes included cervical, laryngeal and handforearm (writer's cramp) dystonia, following an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. TOR1A (DYT1) and THAP1 (DYT6) were screened for sequence variants. There were no abnormalities in TOR1A. A novel THAP1 sequence variant (c.-237-3G>T) was found in both affected and unaffected family members and did not co-segregate with dystonia. This variant was also found in 1/212 African American control alleles. Another variant at the same site (c.-237-3G>A) was found in 2/212 African American control alleles and one African American subject with laryngeal dystonia (1/84 alleles). Therefore, these variants are unlikely to be pathogenic. Familial late-onset primary dystonia does occur in non-Caucasian populations. Future studies of THAP1 and other dystonia genes must take genetic background into consideration.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Genetics


  • alprazolam, African American, focal dystonia, dystonia, allele, segmental dystonia, onset age, Caucasian, writer's cramp, autosomal dominant inheritance, spasmodic dysphonia, inheritance, population, gene, phenotype
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S69
Number of pages1
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue numberSuppl. S14
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch