Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does family history increase my risk of getting Parkinson's?"
My grandfather on my mom?s side and my great uncle on my dad?s side both had Parkinson?s. Does this mean I have a better chance of getting it when I?m older?
Parkinson's disease is a neurological condition of the brain that primarily effects movement. It can affect adults of almost all ages but mostly affects older adults. While there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, there are treatments available. The cause of Parkinson's disease is not completely understood. We know that certain brain chemicals change in the disease, but we don't know why the change. Family history can be an important factor in developing Parkinson's disease. If someone has a close family member that has Parkinson's, there is a small increase chance that that person will develop Parkinson's as well. This is not to say that there is a specific gene that causes the disease. This just tells us that the chances of getting the disease are greater for people that have relatives that are affected. The best type of doctor for you to see about this is a neurologist. A neurologist that specializes in Parkinson's disease will be familiar with the patterns of the disease and might be able to tell you your likelihood of getting the disease if you are interested in knowing. You may warrant a referral to a medical geneticist for further evaluation.
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