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Parkinson's Disease

Reducing the risk of Parkinson's

03/10/1999

Question:

My father (65 years old) was just diagnosed with Parkinson's. I read an earlier letter asking if the disease is hereditary, but the disease does run in my family. In addition to my father, his aunt and uncle both had the disease. Having this in mind, is there any thing that I can do to reduce my risk of contracting Parkinson's?

Answer:

Firstly the genetics of PD is controversial. While there are families with a documented genetic basis for PD, a recent twin-study failed to show a strong genetic link. In this study identical and fraternal twins had similar risk of developing PD when their twin had PD. In terms of reducing the risk of PD, there is unfortunately nothing I have to suggest. A recent study did show some association of animal fat in the diet with PD, but this was not a very strong linkage.

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Response by:

Arif Dalvi, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati