Parkinson’s: why is the disease affecting more and more young people in their forties?

Yasmina Kattou, edited by Laura Laplaud

On the occasion of World Parkinson’s Day, Europe 1 looks back on this neurodegenerative disease which affects 270,000 French people. If this disease is often associated with seniors, 20% of patients are nevertheless under 60 years old according to associations.

25,000 new people are affected by Parkinson’s disease each year. This pathology, which causes, among other things, muscle rigidity, motor disorders, or even tremors, affects more and more young people in their forties. According to the associations, the under 60s represent 20% of patients today.

Exposure to several pollutants

For what ? Several hypotheses exist. In rich, industrialized countries, significant exposure to several pollutants increases the risk of developing the disease when young, as explained by Marie Fuzzati, scientific director of the France Parkinson association. “Pesticides, in food, in packaged products will largely contribute to increasing new cases of Parkinson’s patients and even more so among young people because they have been exposed to them since birth.”

A genetic predisposition

In recent years, health professionals have managed to better detect the disease in people under 60 years of age. “We are not going to automatically exclude Parkinson’s disease in someone younger because we now know that it can happen. There is a better awareness of the symptoms of the disease in younger people, we are more aware”, she continues at the microphone of Europe 1.

Dr. Marie Fuzzati also recalls that 10 to 15% of cases of Parkinson’s, especially among young people, are explained by a genetic predisposition.

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