Young-onset Parkinson's disease
S. BOSTANJOPOULOU, Z. KATSAROU
3rd Dept. of Neurology, University of Thessaloniki
Young-onset Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by disease onset before the age of 40 yrs. Within this group we recognize two distinct subgroups: a) a young PD group with age at onset 21-40 yrs and b) juvenile PD which starts in adolescence or childhood. Patients with young-onset PD are different from the patients with the typical form of the disease in several aspects. Their presenting and predominant symptoms are rigidity and bradykinesia. Dystonia either as an early manifestation or as a late development is also frequently encountered. Young-onset PD patients respond to L-Dopa extremely well but they have a tendency to develop quite frequently dyskinesias and motor fluctuations.
Differential diagnosis of this disorder requires extensive investigation in order to exclude various causes of secondary Parkinsonism as well as a number of rare neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS.