Researchers have linked Gaucher disease to a slightly increased risk of having Parkinson disease (PD) later in life. This is also true for carriers, who do not have the disease but can pass it to their children.
In the general population, individuals have a 2 to 4 percent chance of developing Parkinson disease past age 60. It is important to note that the risk is still relatively low for patients and carriers of Gaucher disease:
- Patients with Gaucher disease: The risk of developing Parkinson disease by age 70 is roughly 5 percent, rising to about 8 percent by age 80.
- Gaucher disease carriers: The risk of developing Parkinson disease by age 70 is about 3 percent, increasing slightly by age 80.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research is working to develop a therapy that can slow or stop the progression of PD. You may be eligible for genetic counseling and testing at no cost. Click here to learn more.