Emerging pathways in genetic Parkinson's disease: Potential role of ceramide metabolism in Lewy body disease


J. Hardy, Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK
Fax: +44-0207-833-1016
Tel: +44-0207-829-8722
E-mail: j.hardy@ion.ucl.ac.uk


Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations at the glucosecerebrosidase locus have recently been shown to be a potent risk factor for Lewy body disease. Based on this observation, we have re-evaluated the likelihood that the different PARK loci (defined using clinical criteria for disease) may be misleading attempts to find common pathways to pathogenesis. Rather, we suggest, grouping the different loci which lead to different Lewy body disease may be more revealing. Doing this, we suggest that several of the genes involved in disparate Lewy body diseases impinge on ceramide metabolism and we suggest that this may be a common theme for pathogenesis.