Can a child develop Parkinson's disease?

The risk for Parkinson's disease increases with age, but no one is completely immune. Although rare, children and young adults can have Parkinson's. Keep in mind, though, that it's quite rare for someone to develop the condition before the age of 50.

Nader Pouratian, MD

Parkinson’s disease most often is diagnosed in patients over the age of 60, although there are many patients with young-onset Parkinson’s disease (diagnosed before the age of 50). Juvenile Parkinson’s disease in patients under the age of 20 is extremely rare. Childhood onset of parkinsonism is almost always due to either a genetic cause or due to another injury such as a stroke, brain injury or hydrocephalus. Genetic conditions to consider include parkin gene mutation, Wilson’s disease, drug-induced parkinsonism, spinocerebellar ataxias, dopa-responsive dystonia and others.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.