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What reporters should know about Parkinson’s disease and aging

Liz Seegert

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects about one in 100 people over age 60. Since it is a progressive disease, symptoms worsen over time. There’s no known cause or cure, but medication and surgery can help manage symptoms. Most people's symptoms take years to develop and can live for years with the disease.

The incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age. However, an estimated 4 percent of people with PD are diagnosed before age 50. Actor Michael J. Fox was only 29 years old when he learned he had the disease. Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.

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