Parkinson's Disease is a recessive genetic disorder. Any gender, male and female, can be a carrier as long as they are heterozygous. This means they carry one small letter (that represents Parkinson's Disease) and one big letter. Carriers don't have the disorder, but carry the gene meaning that it is possible for them to pass it on to their children. The disorder is passed from parent to child if both parents are carriers (Pp and Pp), both parents have the disorder (pp and pp), or one parent is a carrier and one has the disorder (Pp and pp). Parkinson's Disease also occurs when there are mutations in specific genes, but this is very rare. About 15% to 25% of people who have Parkinson's Disease have an affected relative.
This punnett square shows how if both parents are heterozygous or carriers, can have child(ren) with the disorder. You can see that they have a 25% chance that they will have a child with the genetic disorder. Also, if a person with the disorder (pp) has child(ren) with a hybrid for Parkinson's Disease, then there is a 50% chance that their children will be carriers and 50% that their children will have the disorder.
Characteristics of the Disorder & Symptoms
Parkinson's Disease is different from others because it involves the malfunction and death of neurons in the brain. It's also different from others because it's a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. Some symptoms that would help you know if a person has Parkinson's Disease is: freezing, writing difficulty (micrographia), mask-like expressions (harder to smile), slowness, resting tremors, postural instability (unstable when standing upright), tremors, stiffness, bradykinesia (slow movement), balance problems, rigidity (inflexibility), progressive disease (having symptoms move from one side of the body to the other side), speech problems and difficulty, loss of automatic movements (blinking), etc. But remember, each person will experience symptoms differently.
This picture shows some more symptoms (if not already mentioned) that occur in people that have Parkinson's Disease.
How Common Is Parkinson's Disease?
You may be wondering which race, gender, or ethnic group is more prone to get Parkinson's Disease. Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson's Disease than women. Parkinson's Disease is most common in Caucasian people, and more than 60,000 US cases of Parkinson's Disease are reported each year. To add to that, 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's Disease. An average of about 1 in 300 people have Parkinson's Disease. About 3 in 5 people in the US suffer from Parkinson's Disease.
These are more statistics about the Parkinson's Disease in the United States.
Treatment for Parkinson's Disease
Doctors can recommend lifestyle changes, like aerobic exercise, physical therapy, and a speech-language pathologist. You may take medications like carbidopa-levodopa whose side effects include nausea or lightheadedness, carbidopa-levodopa infusion, whose side effects are the tube falling out or infections at the infusion site, MAO-B inhibitors whose side effects are nausea or insomnia. Doctors may encourage surgery, especially Deep Brain Stimulation. The side effects are infections, stroke, or brain hemorrhage. It's usually around $30000-50000 for Deep Brain Stimulation, but can even be up to $100,000. As shown in the picture below, treatment for Parkinson's Disease has slowly been rising and has been more costly.
This picture shows how treatments for Parkinson's Disease are going up each year, by $14.4 billion! This is bad for people with Parkinson's Disease as prices could double by 2040, if prices continue to increase.
This shows how prices are rising for treatments for Parkinson's Disease; it's very pricy to treat Parkinson's Disease. As many people who around 50 are retired, spending $2,500 per year on medication and even up to $100,000 on therapeutic surgery, this could be extremely hard to pay for.
This graph shows patients with Parkinson's Disease and some common treatments/medications that are used to help with the side effects of Parkinson's Disease. It also shows how people thought of the side effects of the medication they took.
The risk of developing Parkinson's Disease increases with age. Symptoms usually occur after the age of 50. An estimated four percent of people with Parkinson's Disease are diagnosed before the age of 50. Parkinson's Disease is named after Dr. James Parkinson, the first doctor to identify this condition.
This is a picture of James Parkinson. He lived from 1755 to 1824 in Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom.
This report on Parkinson's Disease shows how the chance of getting Parkinson's Disease increases with age.
Famous Person with Parkinson's Disease
Michael J. Fox had Parkinson's Disease, and doctors said he would be disabled in 10 years and wouldn't be able to work in 10 years. He kept his genetic disorder secret from the public for 7 years because of denial. He created the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research to help find a cure for the disease.
This is a picture of Michael J. Fox speaking to the public about the research being done for Parkinson's Disease.
Current Research on Parkinson's Disease
The PDBP (The Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program) founded this research and have volunteers helping at sites across the US. They are discovering ways to identify individuals at risk for developing PD and to track the progression of the disease. This is effective because it will speed the development of novel therapeutics for Parkinson's Disease, and even lower the price of it.
The Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program