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Is Parkinson’s Hereditary? The Genetic Link to Parkinson’s Disease

Is Parkinson's Hereditary

Is Parkinson's Hereditary - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary

Is Parkinson's hereditary? It is a common question that people ask. This concern shows that many people have little information about Parkinson's disease, from its causes and symptoms to risk factors. Also, others with Parkinson's patients want to understand crucial details about this disorder. Fortunately, in this article, we discuss everything about Parkinson's disease, including:

  • A brief introduction of what Parkinson's disease is.
  • Can you inherit Parkinson's disease?
  • How does genetics play a key role in Parkinson's disease?
  • Indicators that you might have Parkinson's disease.
  • What causes Parkinson's disease?
  • Factors that might increase the chances of developing Parkinson's disease.
  • Parkinson's disease awareness month.
  • Answers to FAQs linked to Parkinson's.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that might affect various parts of the brain, particularly in the substantia, an area responsible for controlling movement and balance. It is a progressive condition of the nervous system. Besides affecting balance and movement, people with Parkinson’s may experience dementia and emotional imbalance.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms, especially for the first time, include shaking or trembling of the limb when your body is at rest. The shaking or trembling can start in one hand, leg, face, or arm. Typically, it begins on one side of your body. Nonetheless, this condition does not have a cure, and remedies, including surgery, are designed to improve symptoms.

Can You Inherit Parkinson’s Disease?

Inherit Parkinson's Disease
Is Parkinson’s hereditary? Yes, this disorder can be inherited from a parent, particularly if you get it before 50 years. According to a journal[1], nearly 5-10% of Parkinson’s disease is inherited. Therefore, it is possible that Parkinson’s runs in some families. Also, this means that most cases of this disorder occur in individuals with no family history of the condition.

Parkinson’s disease hereditary patterns may vary depending on the altered gene. For instance, the SNCA or LRRK2 gene alteration means that Parkinson’s is hereditary in an autosomal dominant trend. What does this mean? Every copy of the altered gene in a cell is adequate to cause Parkinson’s. In most circumstances, the patient has one parent with Parkinson’s.

Another Parkinson’s disease hereditary pattern occurs with PRKN, PINK1, or PARK7 genes. In this case, Parkinson’s is passed in an autosomal recessive trend, meaning that two copies of the involved gene in every cell are altered. It also means that each parent of a person with this pattern has one copy of this altered gene but doesn’t show symptoms and signs of Parkinson’s.

However, Parkinson’s disease’s hereditary pattern is unknown when genetic modifications alter the possibility of developing this disorder. Therefore, it is prudent to do genetic testing if you come from a family with Parkinson’s.

How Does Genetics Play A Key Role In Parkinson’s Disease?

It is claimed that gene mutations are linked to Parkinson’s disease. Thus, if you’re wondering, is Parkinson’s hereditary? There is a possibility that this condition can be passed from one generation to the next.

According to a study[2], Parkinson’s disease hereditary pattern can be due to mutations in six genes, including SNCA, ATP13A2, DJ1, LRRK2, PINK1, and PRKN. Further, this study states that loss-of-function alterations and variations in SNCA, LRRK2, and MAPT genes contribute to vulnerability to developing Parkinson’s.

The genes linked to Parkinson’s disease hereditary are grouped into epigenetic, autosomal recessive, and autosomal dominant. Research indicates that autosomal genes linked to Parkinson’s include PARK3, SNCA, and LRRK2.

Indicators That You Might Have Parkinson’s Disease

Have Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson’s disease symptoms might differ from one person to the other. Typically, early signs and symptoms of the condition might be mild and barely noticeable. Most often, the symptoms start from one side of the body.

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Tremor – Tremor is amongst the first Parkinson’s disease symptoms. A slight trembling or shaking in the thumb, chin, hand, or finger, particularly when resting, is an early sign of this condition.
  • Small handwriting – There might be a possibility of developing Parkinson’s if your handwriting has gotten smaller. It includes how you write and organize your work on a page. For instance, letter and number sizes are smaller and probably crowded together. Thus, this change is one of Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
  • Reduced or trouble walking and moving – Injuries or health conditions like arthritis might affect your movement. But, when you feel stiffness in the legs, arms, or other body parts not related to injuries or other conditions, you may be having Parkinson’s. Pain in the hips/shoulder and stiffness are early Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
  • Compromised posture and balance – Other common Parkinson’s disease symptoms include reduced balance and posture. It might happen when you start leaning, slouching, or stooping while standing.
  • Changes in your voice – It may include your voice becoming hoarse or very soft. It might also be observed when you hesitate or slur before speaking. Nevertheless, it is wise to consult your doctor as a way how to prevent Parkinson’s disease.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Research[3] shows that different factors, including dysfunction of the mitochondria, oxidative stress, inflammation, and synapses, are Parkinson’s disease causes. Let’s have a look at some of these causes:

Parkinsons Disease Causes

  • Genes – Although at a lower percentage (5-10%), genetic mutations might cause this disorder. Parkinson’s disease’s hereditary pattern can occur due to the genes involved.

    Therefore, for those asking, is Parkinson’s hereditary? Yes, genes can cause this disorder.

  • Environmental Factors – Environmental factors like exposure to pesticides and free radicals are among Parkinson’s disease causes. These factors increase the risk of having this disease later in life.
  • Head trauma – It is claimed that repeated blows to your head, for instance, boxers, might put one at risk of getting Parkinson’s. Even so, there are no scientific studies to show the type, frequency, or severity of head trauma that increase your skin. Thus, head trauma is just among the possible Parkinson’s disease causes.
  • Lewy bodies – The presence of protein deposits (Lewy bodies) within your brain cells might indicate the presence of Parkinson’s. Researchers claim that these deposits are a clue to Parkinson’s disease causes.
  • Presence of alpha-synuclein within Lewy bodies – Though not scientifically proven, it is claimed that the presence of alpha-synuclein within Lewy bodies may show a possible risk of the disease. Hence, this adds to a list of Parkinson’s disease causes.
  • Medications – Parkinson’s disease might develop after taking some drugs, including antipsychotic remedies. Thus, some medications are Parkinson’s disease causes.

Factors That Might Increase The Chances Of Developing Parkinson’s Disease

Like the various factors that contribute to Parkinson’s, there are several risk factors for this disorder. These are:

  • Age – It is claimed that age is a big risk factor for having Parkinson’s. Typically, people above 60 years old might develop this disorder. If age is a risk factor, then is Parkinson’s hereditary? People developing Parkinson’s before 50 years might have gotten it from their parents.
  • Gender – Men seem to be more likely to develop Parkinson’s compared to women.
  • Exposure to pollutants – Pollutants, including free radicals, pesticides, and herbicides, might increase the risk of developing this disorder.
  • Family history – There is a possibility of developing Parkinson’s if your parents or close relative have the disorder. It answers many people asking; is Parkinson’s disease genetic? Even so, the risks are small.
  • Serious head injury – Repeated and hard blows to the head resulting in you forgetting things or losing consciousness might increase your risks. Although the disorder has no cure, consulting with a specialist may help monitor symptoms like forgetfulness. Besides, avoiding head trauma (blows to the head) is one way how to prevent Parkinson’s disease.
  • Where a person lives – It is claimed that individuals living in rural parts may have a higher risk of getting Parkinson’s. It is tied to substances like pesticides they use in farming.

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Parkinsons Disease Awareness Month
Each year, the 11th of April is Parkinson’s day. Therefore, April is Parkinson’s Disease (PD) awareness month since it is the birth month of the first physician to describe the disease, James Parkinson.

Whether you’re asking is Parkinson’s disease genetic or not, the mission of the awareness month is to increase PD research. It may help enhance care and improve access to programs that support the disease.

Besides, the awareness month helps take actions to learn how to navigate a future with the disease or help create a place without the disease. It is to influence the future of this disorder.

Therefore, as you look forward to observing PD awareness month:

  • Attend an organized PD event near you – Throughout the month, healthcare professionals, PD support groups, towns, and businesses will organize events and give information or education for individuals with this order. Hence, participate in these events for support.
  • Consult your neurologist – Although this condition has no cure, consulting a neurologist might be among the ways how to prevent Parkinson’s disease.
  • Share messages of support on social media platforms – Join many individuals on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to create PD awareness.

Is Parkinson’s hereditary? Yes, though it is rare. PD awareness month is crucial to raise awareness, support victims, and help encourage contributors.

FAQs

The chances of inheriting PD are small. It is claimed about 5-10% of Parkinson's disease is caused by genetic mutations.

People working on farms might be exposed to chemicals like pesticides. Men, people above 60 years, and a person with a family history of PD are likely to develop this disorder. It also answers the question, is Parkinson's hereditary?

Cogwheeling is muscular rigidity experienced by people with PD. It is an early PD symptom that results in passive movement of elbows or limbs.

The sic cardinal signs of PD include tremor, slowed movement, changes in the voice, small handwriting, compromised posture, and rigid muscles.

Processes in your brain that may cause movement signs and symptoms of the disease lead to Parkinson's small handwriting.

Conclusion

Is Parkinson’s hereditary? Yes, though it is infrequent. Therefore, genes, environmental factors, and certain medications can lead to Parkinson’s disorder. Besides causes, some risk factors like age, family history, and gender might heighten your risk.

Just like the several factors that might cause the condition, how to prevent Parkinson’s disease is complex. It is claimed that aerobic exercises, caffeine, and green tea may help against PD.

Working with a neurologist or professional healthcare provider might help you develop a plan to improve the disorder’s symptoms. The plan might include strategies on how to prevent Parkinson’s disease and enhance the quality of life.

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