Young Onset Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s isn’t just an “older person’s disease.” It’s typically diagnosed around age 60 or later, but symptoms can start at 50 years old or earlier. If that occurs, it’s referred to as young-onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD).

Estimates vary, but about 10 percent of people with Parkinson’s may fall into this category.  While the range of potential symptoms and treatment options are the same no matter when Parkinson’s is diagnosed, younger people may experience symptoms and overall course of disease somewhat differently.  They also may have different approaches to treating symptoms and may encounter unique situations surrounding work and family.  People diagnosed at a younger age might hide their symptoms more often or face stigma when their symptoms are misinterpreted.

Diagnosed with YOPD?

You might be thinking, is my life over? What does the future hold? How will I cope?

“Parkinson’s manifests different in everyone. Some signs are visible, others less so, and serves as a reminder that you cannot read a book by its cover so be good to others and to strangers as we all have stuff going on under the surface.”
—Keri

Parenting with Parkinson’s Disease

Parenting can be challenging. Life with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be challenging. Dealing with both at the same time…well, no surprise, that can also be challenging! However, many people successfully navigate parenting with Parkinson’s by seeking support, adapting their routines, and maintaining open communication with their families.

Both sides of the story: Watch this interesting episode of Dr. Gilbert Hosts where people with PD, and their children, talk about living with PD and how it affects them.
https://www.apdaparkinson.org/videos/dr-gilbert-hosts-parenting-parkinsons-disease

Parenting with PD: The parenting/PD combination can be a lot to tackle, both emotionally and physically.
https://www.apdaparkinson.org/article/parenting-and-parkinsons

Talking to Your Teen About Parkinson’s Disease: Teenagers can be tough. This special publication is designed to help those with older children and it includes suggestions on how to communicate the diagnosis, prepare for potential reactions, and ultimately remain an active, involved parent.
https://d2icp22po6iej.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/APDA19364-Teens-FAQ-Supplement-D2V2.pdf

My Mommy Has PD…But It’s Okay! This helpful booklet about sharing the news of a PD diagnosis with a young child (also available en Español: Mi Mami Tiene EP…¡Pero Todo Estará Bien!) can help provide an opportunity for discussion within families, and can really help those who have been looking for a way to talk and share feelings about PD with younger children.
https://d2icp22po6iej.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/pdf_publications/Mommy-Has-PD-IOE.pdf

Get Support: It helps to know you’re not alone. Check out the Smart Patients online discussion forum for people with PD and their loved ones, where members share help, advice, and information about treatments, symptoms, side effects – and parenting.
https://www.apdaparkinson.org/resources-support/smart-patients/

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