Is Parkinson's Disease Hereditary?

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Is Parkinson's Disease Hereditary?

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects a large part of the adult population aged between 40 and 70. Among the older population it is one of the most common disorders to the nervous system. Its causes are still unknown to the scientific community; however, there are some hypotheses to explain Parkinson's, among which we find the possibility of it being a hereditary disease. In this OneHowTo article we are going to reveal the answer to your question: is Parkinson's disease hereditary?.

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Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's is a disease that manifests itself slowly and gradually and for which there is still no specific cure. Although it can not be cured, drug treatments do exist that help reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's and make the patient's life as good as his or her circumstances permit.

When a person has Parkinson's the nigra substance in the brain, which is responsible for coordinating body movements, is affected. This brain area is where dopamine is found, an essential chemical that allows our brain to control movement. Parkinson's directly attacks this chemical, lowering its levels and causing the patient to suffer tremors.

There are many theories about Parkinson's but, although the exact causes of the disease and how to fight it are still unknown, we do know that it is not contagious; you can safely kiss, hug and be in contact with a person with Parkinson's. In addition to the tremors, Parkinson patients will suffer slowness in movement and will therefore require more time than usual to perform common tasks such as cooking, cleaning or bathing. This slowness may also be noted during conversation as they may take a little longer to answer. Parkinson's does not affect the ear but understanding in the brain is made slower and therefore it will affect response times.

Currently there are specific treatments that help people with Parkinson's lead a more or less normal life, but their life expectancy is reduced by the disease. There have been recently some major breakthrough in scientific research; until recently there were no drugs that helped live with the disease by reducing its impact.

Is Parkinson's disease hereditary?

The answer to this question is ambiguous because there is a family based strain of Parkinson's disease in which members of the same family can develop this condition for genetic reasons; however, only 10% of Parkinson's patients have inherited their condition, the origin of the disease in the remaining 90% is unknown.

Parkinson's can be genetic but this is not among the most common causes, this kind of Parkinson's is suffered by very few people in the world. We see this genetic link in members of a same family that share a cellular incapacity to handle biological stress. Parkinson's can be inherited through a single parent or transmitted by more extended family relations such as uncles, grandparents, cousins, and so on.

Is Parkinson's Disease Hereditary? - Is Parkinson's disease hereditary?

Possible causes of Parkinson's

We have already said that the exact causes of Parkinson's disease are as yet unknown. However, researchers juggle some possibilities based on studies and comparative analysis of patients suffering from this disease. In this way we can discuss the possible causes of Parkinson's disease being:

  • Presence of a chemical imbalance in the brain, something that makes some cells die. This is given by the exposure of humans to agrochemicals, usually in rural areas or in cases where people come into contact with a product that is contaminated.
  • It is also believed that one factor that may cause Parkinson is the consumption of drugs that directly affect the brain.
  • Genetics, as we have already seen, can also be a cause of Parkinson even though there are very few cases worldwide of this variant.

Treating Parkinson

Once diagnosed as suffering from Parkinson's the doctor will prescribe a specific treatment to alleviate the symptoms that the disease can generate. In addition to these drugs the patient should lead a healthy life and care for their body:

  • Eat nutritious food with a strong presence of vegetables, nuts and fruits.
  • Practice activities or hobbies to keep the patient mobile and exercise the body.
  • Gentle exercise to maintain a healthy body is important, move the muscles to prevent atrophy.
Is Parkinson's Disease Hereditary? - Treating Parkinson

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Is Parkinson's Disease Hereditary?, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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