Des Moines University
An Overview of Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease - Clinical and Patient Perspectives This is a past event.

An Overview of Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease - Clinical and Patient Perspectives

Thursday, October 13, 2022 at 7:00am to 8:00am

SEC Auditorium or Zoom

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There is no cost to attend and all interested individuals are invited to participate. Attend on-site in the Student Education Center Auditorium or online via Zoom.


Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a progressive disorder that causes central nervous system degeneration and unintended neuromuscular symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. It is considered young-onset PD (YOPD) when the individual is younger than 50 years of age. While the clinical presentation is similar to late-onset PD, YOPD patients experience symptoms and take medications for a longer period of time, contributing to a significantly greater risk of developing dyskinesias and dystonias. They also often face unique financial, family, and employment challenges that are less-often an issue with their late-onset counterparts.

A positive aspect of YOPD is that younger brains are more neuroplastic, which allows the brain to respond to treatment more effectively. Participation in specialized movement programs early in the disease progression can maintain and even improve loss of central nervous system function. Cases of YOPD should be referred to movement specialists as early as possible to ensure the best functional outcome for these individuals. It is important that healthcare providers are competent in the identification of YOPD and can promptly initiate treatment for their younger-adult patients.


  • Recognize the typical clinical presentation and special considerations related to YOPD.
  • Recall the most common pharmacological intervention for control of YOPD and its side effects.
  • Describe the indications for Deep Brain Stimulation in the management of YOPD.
  • Explain the benefits and goals of exercise/movement-based interventions to improve symptoms and lessen the impact of the disease for individuals with YOPD.
  • Reflect on how the patient perspective impacts healthcare providers.

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