Parkinson's disease at midlife
People who develop Parkinson's disease before age 55 benefit from the team-based approach of the specialists in the Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Clinic.
The experts in the Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Clinic provide specialized diagnosis and treatment for people with onset of disease earlier than 55 years of age who develop symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Early-onset Parkinson’s disease (formerly called young-onset Parkinson’s disease) is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement, cognition and mood.
You may come to the Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Clinic at Mayo's campus in Arizona or Minnesota on your own or with a referral from your primary care provider. Availability of services may vary between Mayo Clinic locations. Please confirm when you request an appointment.
Advanced diagnosis and treatment
People who develop Parkinson's disease at a young age benefit from the multidisciplinary approach of the movement disorder specialists in the early-onset clinic because these experts are highly attuned to the symptoms, needs and disease progression of people in this age group.
People who develop symptoms in midlife might not be expecting a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease — a condition that typically affects people over the age of 65. So they might minimize or overlook their symptoms or attribute them to a sports injury, stiffness or muscle cramps. The movement disorder specialists at Mayo's early-onset clinic can identify the cause of your symptoms and help you arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
The symptoms and progression of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. The implications are very different for people who are still working, perhaps raising children and enjoying an active lifestyle. They may face a spectrum of limitations beyond tremor, rigidity or stiffness. It's important to have experienced doctors who recognize the wide range and variability of symptoms possible, even at a young age.
The treatment of early-onset Parkinson's disease differs as well, because people with this condition may experience slower disease progression than that in older adults. And they may have different genetic and environmental risk factors. These and other factors are key to developing an effective individualized treatment plan.
Neurologists and the team-based approach
The multidisciplinary approach of the Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Clinic means that you receive evaluation and a personalized plan of care in the shortest possible time. You'll undergo laboratory testing and neuroimaging as needed. If you wish, the clinic will send a full report to your primary care provider.
The Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Clinic is staffed by neurologists who specialize in movement disorders. Because early-onset disease is a long-term condition with no cure, you might also need help with nonmovement symptoms and conditions, such as sleep disorders, emotional problems, cognitive disorders, lightheadedness and urinary difficulties. Your movement disorder doctors work with a multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation specialists, psychiatrists, neuro-urologists, sexologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, integrative medicine specialists, geneticists and others as needed to help you manage your condition. Your team might also include nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and occupational, speech and recreational therapists.
The movement disorder specialists of the Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Clinic offer a full spectrum of services and resources to help you manage your condition long-term:
Some people find comfort in sharing their experiences and meeting people who face similar challenges. Ask your health care provider for information on early-onset Parkinson's disease support groups in your area or online. Connect with your community's Parkinson's disease services. It can also be helpful to call on or develop a network of family and friends to support you as you live with this long-term condition.
Expertise and rankings
Mayo Clinic doctors trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologists), brain and nervous system surgery (neurosurgeons), and other areas treat more than 12,000 people every year who have movement disorders. Neurologists at each Mayo Clinic location have specific expertise in several types of movement disorders.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings.
See physician staff.
Research and innovation
Mayo Clinic physician-scientists and researchers are leaders in advancing the understanding of Parkinson's disease. Our movement disorder specialists are committed to doing research that improves diagnosis and offers the best possible individualized care of people who have early-onset Parkinson's disease.
Talk with your doctor about potential new diagnostic and therapeutic advances that might benefit you and whether you are eligible for any clinical trials.
Learn about Mayo Clinic research activities:
Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Early-Onset Parkinson’s Disease and Synucleinopathies Laboratory
Feb. 06, 2024