Genetic and environmental factors in the cause of Parkinson's disease

Ann Neurol. 2003:53 Suppl 3:S16-23; discussion S23-5. doi: 10.1002/ana.10487.


Despite being the subject of intense study, the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease still remains unclear. In recent years, however, there has been increasing evidence to support a role for genetic factors in its cause. This has come from twin and family studies, the mapping and cloning of PARK genes that are associated with the development of PD, and analysis of potential susceptibility genes. There is also evidence indicating that environmental factors may play a role in the disease process. It is likely that for most cases, there is a complex interplay between these genetic and environmental influences in the causation of Parkinson's disease. This article reviews the evidence in support of genetic and environmental factors in the cause of PD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Ligases / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Point Mutation / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Synucleins
  • Twin Studies as Topic
  • Twins / genetics
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases*


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Synucleins
  • USP12 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • parkin protein
  • Endopeptidases
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Ligases