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

Karen Marder, Gilberto Levy, Elan D. Louis, Helen Mejia-Santana, Lucien Cote, Howard Andrews, Juliette Harris, Cheryl Waters, Blair Ford, Steven Frucht, Stanley Fahn, Ruth Ottman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


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