Am I at risk for Parkinson's?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 04, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My father was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's. What's the likelihood that I'll also get Parkinson's? And are my children at risk, too?

Expert Answers

Graham A. Glass, MD, is the deputy director of the San Francisco Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Care Center (PADRECC) and an assistant clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He completed a fellowship in movement disorders at the Mayo Clinic.

This is a very difficult question to answer and to some degree depends on the age at which your father was disgnosed (young onset is more likely to be monogenetic) and whether or not he has a known genetic mutation or risk factor. Typically, however, we think that less than 8% of all parkinson's patients have a "monogenetic" form of parkinsons disease and the rest are sporadic and probably have to do with a number of genes interacting with the enviornment. In these cases, which are the majority, its very hard to determine if you are at an increased risk, but if so it would be a slighly increased risk.