Genotype–Phenotype Relations in Primary Familial Brain Calcification: Systematic MDSGene Review

This systematic MDSGene review covers individuals with confirmed genetic forms of primary familial brain calcification (PFBC) available in the literature. Data on 516 individuals, carrying heterozygous variants in SLC20A2 (61%), PDGFB (12%), XPR1 (16%), or PDGFRB (5%) or biallelic variants in MYORG (13%) or JAM2 (2%), were extracted from 93 articles. Nearly one-third of the mutation carriers were clinically unaffected. Carriers of PDGFRB variants were more likely to be clinically unaffected (54%), and the penetrance of SLC20A2 and XPR1 variants (<70%) was lower in comparison to the

remaining three genes (>85%). Among the 349 clinically affected patients, 27% showed only motor and 31% only nonmotor symptoms/signs, whereas the remaining 42% had a combination thereof. While parkinsonism and speech disturbance were the most frequently reported motor manifestations, cognitive deficits, headache, and depression were the major nonmotor symptoms/signs. The basal ganglia were always calcified, and the cerebellum, thalamus, and white matter contained calcifications in 58%, 53%, and 43%, respectively, of individuals. In autosomal dominant PFBC, mutation severity influenced the number of calcified brain areas, which in turn correlated with the clinical status, whereby the risk of developing symptoms/signs more than doubled for each additional region with calcifications. Our systematic analysis provides the most comprehensive insight into genetic, clinical, and neuroimaging features of known PFBC forms, to date. In addition, it puts forth the penetrance estimates and newly discovered genotype–phenotype relations that will improve counseling of individuals with mutations in PFBC genes.


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The study was supported by the Movement Disorder Society, by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; FOR2488), and by intramural funds from the University of Lübeck.