Familial Parkinson's disease: Possible role of environmental factors

S. Calne, B. Schoenberg, W. Martin, R. J. Uitti, P. Spencer, D. B. Calne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


We report here six families with Parkinson's disease in whom the onset of symptoms tended to occur at approximately the same time irrespective of the age of the patient. The mean difference in the time of onset in different generations was 4.6 years while the mean difference in age of onset in children and parents was 25.2 years. We construe this pattern of age separation within families as suggestive of an environmental rather than genetic cause. Support for this view derives from the lack of correlation between occurrence of the disease and the degree of consanguinity. We conclude that our findings are in accord with the hypothesis which attributes the cause of some cases of Parkinson's disease to early, subclinical environmental damage followed by age-related attrition of neurons within the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-305
Number of pages3
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Calne, S., Schoenberg, B., Martin, W., Uitti, R. J., Spencer, P., & Calne, D. B. (1987). Familial Parkinson's disease: Possible role of environmental factors. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 14(3), 303-305.