Frequency of Hereditary and GBA1-Related Parkinsonism in Latin America: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Paula Saffie Awad, Daniel Teixeira-dos-Santos, Bruno Lopes Santos-Lobato, Sarah Camargos, Mario Cornejo-Olivas, Carlos Roberto de Mello Rieder, Ignacio F. Mata, Pedro Chaná-Cuevas, Christine Klein, Artur F. Schumacher Schuh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Identifying hereditary parkinsonism is valuable for diagnosis, genetic counseling, patient prioritization in trials, and studying the disease for personalized therapies. However, most studies were conducted in Europeans, and limited data exist on admixed populations like those from Latin America. Objectives: This study aims to assess the frequency and distribution of genetic parkinsonism in Latin America. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the frequency of parkinsonian syndromes associated with genetic pathogenic variants in Latin America. We defined hereditary parkinsonism as those caused by the genes outlined by the MDS Nomenclature of Genetic Movement Disorders and heterozygous carriers of GBA1 pathogenic variants. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and LILACS in August 2022. Researchers reviewed titles and abstracts, and disagreements were resolved by a third researcher. After this screening, five researchers reanalyzed the selection criteria and extracted information based on the full paper. The frequency for each parkinsonism-related gene was determined by the presence of pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants among screened patients. Cochran's Q and I2 tests were used to quantify heterogeneity. Meta-regression, publication bias tests, and sensitivity analysis regarding study quality were also used for LRRK2-, PRKN-, and GBA1-related papers. Results: We included 73 studies involving 3014 screened studies from 16 countries. Among 7668 Latin American patients, pathogenic variants were found in 19 different genes. The frequency of the pathogenic variants in LRRK2 was 1.38% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52–2.57), PRKN was 1.16% (95% CI: 0.08–3.05), and GBA1 was 4.17% (95% CI: 2.57–6.08). For all meta-analysis, heterogeneity was high and publication bias tests were negative, except for PRKN, which was contradictory. Information on the number of pathogenic variants in the other genes is further presented in the text. Conclusions: This study provides insights into hereditary and GBA1-related parkinsonism in Latin America. Lower GBA1 frequencies compared to European/North American cohorts may result from limited access to gene sequencing. Further research is vital for regional prevalence understanding, enabling personalized care and therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • GBA1
  • LRRK2
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • hereditary parkinsonism
  • pRKN


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