Young Onset Parkinson's Disease

When someone is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD) under the age of 50, it is referred to as young onset Parkinson's Disease (YOPD).  (Researchers often designate those younger than 20 as YOPD.)  While the symptoms are the same, regardless of the age a diagnosis is made, the issues facing those at a younger age are significantly different due to their stage of life.   

Younger people are often still employed and may have children in school.  There are legal and financial issues that require careful planning.  Insurance coverage is crucial until one qualifies for Medicare (or Medicaid).  These resources will help you understand and navigate these issues.


Downloadable Documents | Online Articles | Podcasts & Webinars


Downloadable Documents (PDF)

Young Parkinson's Handbook: A Guide to Patients and Their Families

Published by American Parkinson Disease Association National Young Onset Center, 2008.

This 53-page booklet (PDF) provides the basics on PD and YOPD. There are also chapters on mind, memory, and behavior as well as changing roles and relationships. This is an excellent print publication for someone newly-diagnosed with young onset PD. 


Sharing Your Parkinson's Diagnosis at Work, A Practical Guide Part One  

Published by the Michael J. Fox Foundation

This three-page guide (PDF) provides practical tips and tools for crafting a personalized strategy to bring Parkinson's into the workplace.


Talking about Parkinson's at Work, A Practical Guide Part Two: Managing Long-Term Professional Relationships

Published by the Michael J. Fox Foundation

This five-page guide (PDF) recommends strategies for continuing conversations, handling common reactions and situations, and managing long-term professional relationships.


Online Articles

Early & Young Onset of Parkinson’s Disease

Published by Parkinson Association of the Rockies

This webpage outlines differences between young onset Parkinson's disease (YOPD) and later onset PD.  Considerations unique to those with YOPD, including links to pages with more information about how YOPD affects employment and financial planning.


Early onset/Young onset Parkinson's

Published by the European Parkinson's Disease Association

Of particular interest on this web page is at the very bottom: a list of articles in Parkinson's Life online magazine including YOPD personal accounts, research papers, and more.


Parkinson's and Your Children/Teenagers

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation

Natural reactions children and teens may experience when a parent has young onset PD, and how to help them adjust.  Also included are a Parkinson's book list for kids, tip sheets for kids and teens, and online Parkinson's parenting resources.


Spotlight YOPD

Published by Spotlight YOPD, UK

This website offers information to help those diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's disease (PD) navigate issues unique to those in midlife, including emotions, sex and being female with PD.


What Young-onset Parkinson’s Can Look Like

By Sherri Woodbridge.  Published by Parkinson's News Today, July 19, 2017

This short webpage shares a personal account of some ways in which young onset Parkinson's disease (YOPD) can manifest and how YOPD symptoms can be misdiagnosed due to a person's youth.


Young Onset Parkinson's Disease

Published by the Michael J. Fox Foundation

This webpage features a five-minute personal account video to illustrate the challenge of having young onset Parkinson's disease (YOPD).  Also included is information about employment, financial, family planning, parenting, relationship and marriage considerations specific to those with YOPD.


Podcasts & Webinars

Ask the MD: Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease

By the Michael J. Fox Foundation, July 23, 2019

In this 4-minute video, Dr. Rachel Dolhun defines the age at which Parkinson’s is termed young-onset and outlines unique circumstances (may have young children and be employed).  Those with YOPD are frequently misdiagnosed as they may have different symptoms from those diagnosed later in life.  Approach to symptom management may also differ due to long-term use of medications.


Challenges and Treatment of Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease

By the Michael J. Fox Foundation, June 15, 2017

In this one-hour webinar, patient and clinician panelists discuss the unique challenges that face young onset around work, family and different approaches to treatment.  [Registration is required, but is free.]


Parenting and Parkinson's: Raising Children While Living with Parkinson's

By the Parkinson's Foundation, Substantial Matters, December 4, 2018

In this 17-minute podcast, Social worker Elaine Book shares how she helps families cope with PD by discussing some of the new challenges and demands, what changes may occur in the family, and those things that remain the same. 


Young Onset Parkinson's: A Conversation of Our Unique Needs

By Parkinson Canada, May 26, 2020

In this one-hour video, a panel of people with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease (YOPD) discuss the challenges faced by those with YOPD. The panel features Larry Gifford, famous for his podcast "When Life Gives You Parkinson's," Dr. Soania Mathur, a member of Parkinson Canada's Medical Advosory Council, Tim Hague, who won the first Amazing Race in Canada after being diagnosed, and Omotola Thomas, founder of ParkinStand.
Webinar notes on the Stanford PD Community Blog.



Last updated August 2020 by Stanford's Parkinson's Community Outreach.