Polygenic risk score for Parkinson's disease and olfaction among middle-aged to older women

Zichun Cao, Dena G. Hernandez, Chenxi Li, Joos Berghausen, Zhehui Luo, Hirotaka Iwaki, Aimee A. D'Aloisio, Xuemei Huang, Jayant M. Pinto, Dale P. Sandler, Andrew B. Singleton, Honglei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Olfactory impairment and Parkinson's disease (PD) may share common genetic and environmental risk factors. This study investigates the association of a PD polygenic risk score (PRS) with olfaction, and whether the associations are modified by environmental exposures of PM2.5, NO2, or smoking. Methods: This analysis included 3358 women (aged 50–80) from the Sister Study with genetic data and results from the Brief Smell Identification Test (B-SIT) administered in 2018–2019. PD PRS was calculated using 90 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Olfactory impairment was defined with different B-SIT cutoffs, and PD diagnosis was adjudicated via expert review. We report odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from multivariable logistic regression. Results: As expected, PD PRS was strongly associated with the odds of having PD (OR highest vs. lowest quartile = 3.79 (1.64, 8.73)). The highest PRS quartile was also associated with olfactory impairment, with OR ranging from 1.24 (0.98, 1.56) for a B-SIT cutoff of 9 to 1.42 (1.04, 1.92) for a cutoff of 6. For individual B-SIT items, the highest PRS quartile was generally associated with lower odds of correctly identifying the odorant, albeit only statistically significant for pineapple (0.72 (0.56, 0.94), soap (0.76 (0.58, 0.99)) and rose (0.70 (0.54, 0.92)). The association of PD PRS with olfactory impairment was not modified by airborne environmental exposures or smoking. Conclusion: These preliminary data suggest that high PD genetic susceptibility is associated with olfactory impairment in middle-aged and older women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105815
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology

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