To date, despite decades of intensive study, the causes of parkinson’s remain unknown. Many experts think that the disease is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, which may vary from person to person.
In some people, genetic factors may play a role; in others, illness, an environmental toxin or other event may contribute to PD. Scientists have identified aging as an important risk factor; there is a two to four percent risk for Parkinson’s among people over age 60, compared with one to two percent in the general population.
It is estimated that around 5% of cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) – (five in every 100 people with Parkinson’s) may be inherited. The remaining 95% of people with PD have what is called ‘idiopathic Parkinson’s’ meaning that as yet there is no known cause. Current research is looking into the role genes play in people developing this type of PD.
Therefore it is considered very rare for people to pass PD on to their children.
Click here to read more form Parkinson’s UK regarding genetic testing here
Whilst here, the Michael J Fox Foundation in America talks about some of the progress already made in understanding the correlation between our genetic make up and PD. Click here.