Familial aggregation of early- and late-onset Parkinson's disease

Ann Neurol. 2003 Oct;54(4):507-13. doi: 10.1002/ana.10711.


The role of heredity in early- versus late-onset Parkinson's disease (PD) is controversial. We estimated the degree of increased risk of PD in first-degree relatives of 221 PD probands with age of onset 50 years or younger and 266 PD probands with age of onset older than 50 years compared with the first-degree relatives of 409 control probands. Risk of PD was similar among first-degree relatives of early-onset PD probands (risk ratio [RR], 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-5.0; p = 0.0002) and late-onset PD probands (RR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.6-4.4; p = 0.0002) when each was compared with first-degree relatives of controls. However, siblings of early-onset PD probands were at markedly increased risk of PD compared with siblings of controls (RR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.5-25.5; p = 0.0005), whereas parents of early-onset PD probands were not at significantly increased risk compared with parents of controls (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 0.9-3.3; p = 0.2). In late-onset families, both siblings (RR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.3-10.3; p = 0.02) and parents (RR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.4-4.6; p = 0.003) were at increased risk compared with control relatives. This pattern is consistent with an autosomal recessive contribution to the inheritance of early but not late-onset PD. Genetic factors are important in both early- and late-onset PD, but specific genes and mode of inheritance may differ between the two groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age of Onset*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Demography
  • Family
  • Family Health*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Analysis