Who Is Likely To Contract Parkinson’s Disease?

Many people wonder if it is possible to predict the probability of developing Parkinson’s disease? They want to know if they are likely to contract the disease? Like most diseases there are some risk factors for Parkinson’s disease. The risk factors include age, gender, family history, ethnicity and location, and also smoking habit.

The disease affects individuals all over the world.

The average age of diagnosis is 55. As we age our chance of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s increases. Although there is a 10% probability of contracting Parkinson’s below age 40. If you have a close relation that develops Parkinson’s before the age of 50 your have an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease yourself.

There is one study that showed that men who had Parkinson’s disease progressed through the disease at a faster rate then women did. This fact could be because men are less likely to respond to treatment. The symptom that appears more often in women with Parkinson’s is gait disturbance, and for men the most common symptom is rigidity and tremor.

European-Americans have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than Africans and Asian Americans. Individuals who live in rural areas have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease over those who live in cities, especially those who live in rural areas and drink well water. Agricultural workers exposed to herbicides and pesticides are also at increased risk over those in the general population for developing Parkinson’s disease.

Individuals who smoke cigarettes have been shown through studies to have a lower risk for Parkinson’s disease (finally a good health reason to smoke). However, the risks for other diseases far outweigh the possibility of the health benefit of this one disease. Researchers will use the information though to learn more about new therapies.

How common are symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in elderly individuals? The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremors, gait disturbances, slowed movement, and rigidity appear in approximately 8 million individuals who are over age 65. Symptoms of the disease occur in about 15% of individuals who are age 65 to 74 and 30% in those who are aged 75 to 84, and half of all individuals who are older than 85 have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The fact that there is as of yet, no known cause for Parkinson’s, makes it difficult to predict accurately who is and who is not likely to contract Parkinson’s. Studies have been conducted that show the symptoms must often associated with Parkinson’s. Knowing what the symptoms are, and being able to recognize the symptoms early on can help the individual to receive early diagnosis.

Risk factors do not necessarily mean that you have Parkinson’s disease. There are other diseases. There are other symptoms that mimic Parkinson’s disease. The only way to know for sure if the symptoms you are experiencing makes you likely to contract Parkinson’s disease is to have a complete examination by a doctor who will evaluate your symptoms, your age, lifestyle, and your symptoms and general health.

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