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Tips for People with Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease

Young-onset Parkinson's disease (PD) is PD diagnosed in a person younger than 50. It is a rare condition that occurs in 2 to 10 percent of all people with PD.1

Because the condition is so uncommon, it can be hard to find advice that is tailored to younger people living with PD. We have put together a list of articles that can help those with young-onset PD navigate special challenges, such as maintaining a career and nurturing intimacy.

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Navigating your career

One of the first things you may consider after being diagnosed with PD is whether you can continue your regular routine. This may include hobbies, socializing, and working. The good news is that, by making adjustments where needed, young people with PD can usually continue to do the things they need to do.

The following articles will help you navigate your career. This includes how and when to talk to your employer about PD, modifications that can help you stay comfortable and productive, and your rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA):

Relationships and intimacy

For many living with PD, their condition often feels like the third wheel in their love life. From decreasing your sex drive to making you just too tired to go on dates, PD can add a level of complication to relationships that most people never experience.

That is why it is important to talk to your loved ones about how you are feeling and what both of you can do to maintain your connection. Here are some articles and personal accounts from community members to help guide you:

Impact on marriage

Whether you are already married or thinking of taking the plunge, commitment is taken to another level once you or your partner is diagnosed with PD. While it is wonderful to have the support of a spouse and many marriages thrive “in sickness and in health,” PD can create challenges for both of you. Read on to learn how to nurture your marriage through PD:

Parenthood and Parkinson's

Another big question that many people with young-onset PD have: Should I have kids? Whether you or your partner are considering becoming pregnant or if you are thinking of fostering or adopting, bringing children into your life requires a lot of energy.

This is energy that you might not always have. Here is a community member’s account of deciding to have a child after she was diagnosed with PD and how she navigated motherhood along with an unpredictable disease:

Driving ability

Getting behind the wheel is a big responsibility. Unfortunately, PD can progressively affect your ability to drive. If you have young-onset PD, your driving skills may not be impacted until later stages. However, it is good to monitor your symptoms and regularly assess your driving ability. This article has a helpful checklist of things to consider before you get in the driver’s seat:

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