A gene for sleepwalking

ARTICLE: "HLA and genetic susceptibility to sleepwalking"

M Lecendreux (1), C Bassetti (2), Y Dauvilliers (3,4), G Mayer (5), E Neidhart (4) and M Tafti (4)

(1) Service de Psychopathologie de l'Enfant et de l'Adolescent, Hpital Robert Dobr, Paris, France

(2) Neurology Clinic, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland

(3) Neurology B, Gui-de-Chauliac Hpital, Montpellier, France

(4) Biochemistry and Genetics, Department of Psychiatry, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

(5) Hephata Klinik, Schwalmstadt-Treysa, Germany

HLA-DQB1 typing was performed in 60 Caucasian subjects with sleepwalking (SW) disorder and their families and 60 ethnically matched subjects without any diagnosed sleep disorder. A total of 21 sleepwalkers (35.0%) were DQB1_0501 positive vs eight (13.3%) controls (P=0.0056; odds ratio=3.5, 95% CI=1.4_8.7). The family data for all HLA subtypes were further assessed for allelic association with SW using the transmission_disequilibrium test. A significant excess transmission was observed for DQB1_05 and _04 alleles in familial cases, strongly suggesting that a DQB1 polymorphic amino acid might be more tightly associated than any single allele. Sequence screening revealed that Ser74 in the second exon shared by all DQB1_05 and _04 was 20 times transmitted against 4 times non-transmitted (P=0.001) in familial cases of SW. Thus, together with narcolepsy and REM sleep behavior disorder, these findings suggest that specific DQB1 genes are implicated in disorders of motor control during sleep. These finding represents the first genetic marker for SW.

Citation source: Molecular Psychiatry 2003 Volume 8, number 1, pages 114-117.

For further information on this work, please contact Dr. Mehdi Tafti, Belle-Ide, Biochemistry and Genetics, Chemin du Petit-Bel-Air 2, CH-1225 Chne-Bourg, Switzerland. Phone: 41 22-305 53 02. E-mail: Mehdi.Tafti@medecine.

Contact: Aimee Midei
Molecular Psychiatry

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