We analyzed in patients with essential tremor (ET) the Thr105Ile polymorphism of the Histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT) enzyme that is associated to Parkinson's disease (PD) risk.Methods
Leukocytary DNA from 204 ET patients and a control group of 295 unrelated healthy individuals was studied for the nonsynonymous HNMT Thr105Ile polymorphism by using amplification-restriction analyses.Results
Patients with ET showed a higher frequency of homozygous HNMT 105Thr genotypes leading to high metabolic activity (p < 0.015) with a statistically significant gene-dose effect, as compared to healthy subjects. These findings were independent of gender, and of tremor localization, but the association of the HNMT polymorphism is more prominent among patients with late-onset ET (p < 0.007).Conclusion
These results, combined with previous findings indicating alterations in the frequency for the HNMT Thr105Ile polymorphism in patients with PD, suggest that alterations of histamine homeostasis in the SNC are associated with the risk of movement disorders.