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

Alexander Balck, Susen Schaake, Neele Sophie Kuhnke, Aloysius Domingo, Harutyun Madoev, Jason Margolesky, Valerija Dobricic, Daniel Alvarez-Fischer, Björn Hergen Laabs, Meike Kasten, Wei Luo, Gael Nicolas, Connie Marras, Katja Lohmann, Christine Klein, Ana Westenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This systematic MDSGene review covers individuals with confirmed genetic forms of primary familial brain calcification (PFBC) available in the literature. Data on 516 (47% men) individuals, carrying heterozygous variants in SLC20A2 (solute carrier family 20 member 2, 61%), PDGFB (platelet-derived growth factor subunit B, 12%), XPR1 (xenotropic and polytropic retrovirus receptor, 16%), or PDGFRB (platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta, 5%) or biallelic variants in MYORG (myogenesis-regulating glycosidase, 13%) or JAM2 (junctional adhesion molecule 2, 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2468-2480
Number of pages13
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • JAM2
  • PFBC
  • primary familial brain calcification
  • SLC20A2
  • XPR1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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