Posted by: PD Warrior | September 2, 2007

Genetics rears its ugly head…

I have done a lot of reading over the past few years, trying to understand all the ins and outs of Parkinson’s Disease, especially its possible causes. Admittedly I have done so for some rather selfish reasons.

First, I would like an explanation as to how I managed to get this annoying affliction. I seem to be always asking the question “why me?” Sometimes I ask “why me?” while other times I will ask “why me?” depending on the level of my own curiosity/self pity.

Secondly, I would like to know if the cause is something that could have been prevented, i.e. environmental factors, so I can attempt to prevent my children from getting the disease.

Third – and perhaps a little less selfish – I have been doing a lot of lecturing for the facility I work for about PD. In every presentation I have done, inevitbly someone asks me if the disease is hereditary. My standing tongue in cheek reply to this question is “Not yet, but it might be  a couple of years from now…” Then I invariably qualify my remark – as of right no one knows the answer to that question. 

All of the statistics right now show that a person has a greater chance of getting PD if someone else in the family has it, but they haven’t found a direct link yet. I have come across several different studies that seem to be getting closer and closer to proving at least a genetic disposition to the disease, but again nothing conclusive.

One of the best articles I have come across so far is “Population genetic approaches to neurological disease: Parkinson’s disease as an example” published in 2005 by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences. I found the article itself to be extremely interesting from a scientific point of view. Again, there is no 100% conclusive evidence that PD is hereditary, but this study is definitely knocking on the proverbial door. You can follow the link provided above to read the entire article.  

  

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Responses

  1. Joe,
    I ask myself why also. I think it must be a common question. I want to warn other women–lose weight, exercise, eat right, don’t drink wine too often, eat organic, eat less meat and please get a mammogram each year. Like BC, maybe PD will have more answers soon. I hope so.

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  2. My mother had Senile Parkinson’s “Alzheimer’s” Disease, so I have been half dreading PD for some time. Six years after she died of it, I was diagnosed with PD. In fact, I can look back now and realize I was already exhibiting symptoms then, but I was too involved in care giving to realize it.

    I hope for my DD’s sake, and for my grandchildren, that it is not hereditary.

    Odd, I don’t ask Why, and never did. I found it much easier to accept than everyone else in my family. I guess all those years of dreading the possibility had me half prepared for the news.

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  3. It must be very worrying for you that PD could be hereditary. It’s a strange phenomenon that, as a parent, we can cope with what life throws our way but when it comes to our children we can’t even contemplate something going wrong. I feel for you.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and joining in the quiz, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll post the answers and winners on Friday (though everyone who takes part is a winner). I hope you’ll pop by again. 🙂

    Like


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