A risk factor is something which increases the risk of developing a condition or disease. For example, obesity significantly raises the chances of developing diabetes type 2. Hence, obesity is a risk factor for diabetes type 2. Risk factors for Parkinson’s disease include:
- Age - the older you get the greater the risk. Although Parkinson’s disease can affect young people, this is exceptional.
- Genetics - a person who has a close relative (brother, sister, mother, father) with Parkinson’s disease has a slightly higher risk of developing it himself/herself, compared to others. Even so, according to The Mayo Clinic, USA, the risk is still less than 5%.
- Gender - males are slightly more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared to females.
- Toxin exposure - individuals who have been exposed to some chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, herbicides or pesticides have a slightly higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, compared to other people.
- Some medications - such as antipsychotics used to treat severe paranoia and schizophrenia can cause Parkinsonism (symptoms that resemble Parkinson’s disease).