At what age does Parkinson's disease occur?

Nader Pouratian, MD

Parkinson’s disease is most often diagnosed in patients in their 60s, with 1-to-2 percent of the population over the age of 65 having Parkinson’s disease. However, Parkinson’s disease can also be diagnosed in patients who are under the age of 50, in which case it is referred to as young-onset Parkinson’s disease. In very rare cases, Parkinson’s disease can begin before the age of 20, in which case it is referred to as juvenile-onset Parkinson’s disease and is usually due to a genetic inheritance.

One clear risk factor for Parkinson's disease is age. The average age of the onset of the disease is 60 years, and the incidence rises significantly with increasing age. However, about 5-10 percent of people with Parkinson's disease have an "early-onset" of the disease, which begins before the age of 50. Early-onset forms of the disease are often, though not always, inherited, and some have been linked to specific gene mutations. People with one or more close relatives who have Parkinson's disease have an increased risk of developing the disease themselves, but the total risk is still just 2-5 percent unless the family has a known gene mutation for the disease. An estimated 15-25 percent of people with Parkinson's disease have a known relative with the disease.

In rare cases, parkinsonian symptoms may appear in people before the age of 20. This condition is called juvenile parkinsonism.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Continue Learning about Parkinson's Disease Causes & Risk Factors

Parkinson's Disease Causes & Risk Factors

Parkinson's Disease Causes & Risk Factors

Experts do not know exactly what causes Parkinson's disease, but it's generally thought that the disease stems from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Some risk factors for Parkinson's disease include genetics, ex...

posure to environmental toxins, a chemical imbalance in the body and inflammation of tissues in the nervous system.

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