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Keywords:

  • mitochondrial myopathy;
  • metabolic disease;
  • neurodegenerative disorder;
  • extrapyramidal disease;
  • mitochondrial DNA;
  • genetics

Abstract

In the majority of cases, mitochondrial disorders are multisystem conditions that most frequently affect the skeletal muscle, followed by the central nervous system. One of the clinical manifestations of central nervous system involvement is Parkinson's syndrome (PS). Evidence for an association of mitochondrial defects with PS comes from mitochondrial disorder patients who have developed Parkinson's syndrome and from Parkinson's syndrome patients who have developed a mitochondrial disorder. In addition, there are a number of patients with Parkinson's syndrome or Parkinson's disease (PD) who later develop subclinical immunohistological or biochemical indications of mitochondrial defects or accumulates mitochondrial DNA mutations within various cerebral regions. There are also Parkinson's syndrome patients who present with elevated cerebrospinal-fluid lactate by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Furthermore, it has been shown that mutations in genes causing PD, such as PINK1, parkin, DJ1, alpha-synuclein, and LRRK2, also cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which is one of the reasons why they are called mitochondrial nigropathies. Parkinson's syndrome in patients with a mitochondrial disorder may also result from oxidative stress or exogenous toxins. Treatment of mitochondrial Parkinson's syndrome is not at variance with the treatment of Parkinson's syndrome due to other causes, but because of the multisystem nature of mitochondrial disorders, mitochondrial Parkinson's syndrome requires additional therapeutic support. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society