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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • parkinsonism;
  • Arabs;
  • genetics;
  • epidemiology

Abstract

Studies of specific populations have provided invaluable knowledge about Parkinson's disease (PD), especially in the field of genetics. The present report systematically reviews the medical literature on PD in Arabs. Medline and Embase were searched, and 24 article were identified: genetic (n = 17), epidemiological (n = 3), and clinical series (n = 5). Both autosomal dominant and recessive forms of inherited PD are described, associated with four genes (Parkin, PINK1, LRRK2, and PARK9). The G2019S LRRK2 mutation is more common in both familial (37–42%) and apparently sporadic PD (41%) in North African Arabs than in Europeans and North Americans (2–3%). The incidence of PD is reported at 4.5 per 100,000 person-years and reported prevalence at 27 to 43 per 100,000 persons. Hospital-based clinical series suggest that parkinsonism is the commonest movement disorder. Clinical features of PD in Arabs are not significantly different from those reported elsewhere. PD was reported as the cause of dementia in around 7% of Arabs. The majority of studies relate to the role of genes in the etiology of PD in North African Arabs. Further genetic, epidemiological and clinical studies from the majority of Arabic countries may enhance our understanding of PD. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society.