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Parkinson's Disease

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is a condition characterized by tremor, muscle stiffness, and problems with movement. It typically develops after the age of 55. About 1 in 100 people develops Parkinson's disease during their lifetime.

Genetics of Parkinson's disease risk

Risk for Parkinson's disease is influenced by genetics. In fact, the disease is associated with genetic variants (differences) in many genes. Two of the best studied genes associated with Parkinson's disease are called LRRK2 and GBA. There are other genes and variants that have also been linked to Parkinson's disease, but most of these variants are either rare or have only a small effect on risk.

Other factors influencing Parkinson's disease risk

Other factors besides genetics can influence someone's chances of developing Parkinson's disease, including:

  • Age: The risk of developing Parkinson's disease increases as a person ages.
  • Sex: Men have a higher chance of developing Parkinson's disease than women
  • Family history: First-degree relatives of an individual with Parkinson's disease have a higher chance of developing Parkinson's disease.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes.

Explore more

You can learn whether you may have an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease based on your genetics through the 23andMe Parkinson's Disease Genetic Health Risk report*. The report looks at two specific genetic variants associated with Parkinson's disease, one in the LRRK2 gene and one in the GBA gene. This report is included in the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service.

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