What is Early-Onset Parkinson's?

Early-Onset Parkinson’s (also called Young-Onset Parkinson’s or YOPD) is when symptoms of the disease appear before the age of 40.

This happens to about 1 in 7 people with the disease.

Studies have shown that early-onset PD is not a lot different from the late-onset form.

There are few differences though, that are listed below:p>

  • levodopa therapy works but it is associated with on-off fluctuations and dyskinesias relatively early on in the disease
  • the disease may progress more slowly than classic PD
  • most people with early-onset PD have mostly rigid, akinetic (without movement) forms of the disease
  • tremor is often a more prominent early symptom in early-onset PD than later-onset PD
  • dystonia (abnormal PD muscle spasms) may show up earlier in early-onset PD than in later-onset
  • dementia is rare in people with early-onset PD
  • depression may occur more often and earlier on in the disease compared to people with later-onset PD

Do People With Early-Onset Parkinson's Have a Different Life Expectancy Than Those Who Are Diagnosed Later in Life?

The life expectancy of someone with early-onset PD is not affected by the disease, just like it is not affected by classic idiopathic PD.

There is evidence that the progression of the disease is slower in early-onset PD. This is because in younger people, tremor is usually predominant and its presence often means a slower progression of the disease.