[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the Parkin, PINK1, and DJ-1 genes can cause autosomal recessive early onset Parkinsonism. We studied three families with the mutations of the Parkin, PINK1 and DJ-1 genes, respectively, with a dopamine transporter ligand [(11)C]-CFT positron emission tomography. A marked bilaterally and dissymmetrically decrement of [(11)C]-CFT uptake was found in all these patients, and putamen as well as caudate nucleus was affected. We also found asymptomatic Parkin and PINK1 heterozygotes showed a mild but significant decrement in [(11)C]-CFT uptake, but this phenomenon was not found in the DJ-1-heterozygotes. Our results suggested the three autosomal recessive forms of early onset are similar to each other on pathophysiological grounds, a sub-clinical disease process in Parkin and PINK1-heterozygotes, but not in DJ-1-heterozygotes.