Ozzy Osbourne, Parkinson’s Disease, and Parkin Syndrome

According to a story from the Stamford Advocate, rock legend Ozzy Osbourne is making plans to go on tour again next fall. This is despite the fact that he has been previously diagnosed with Parkin syndrome, a rare genetic condition that presents very similarly to Parkinson’s disease. However, there are differences between the two that gives Ozzy a better chance to have a successful tour.

About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a type of long term, progressive, degenerative illness that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms tend to develop over a period of years and primarily affect the movement ability and mental state of the patient. The cause of Parkinson’s disease remains a mystery, although there are a number of risk factors that have been identified. These factors include head injuries, pesticide exposure, and certain genetic variants and mutations. About 15 percent of patients have a close relative with the disease, suggesting some genetic connection. Symptoms include slowed movements, poor coordination, trouble walking, shaking, stiffness, abnormal posture, depression, anxiety, inhibited thinking, hallucinations, and dementia. Treatment may involve a number of medications, rehabilitation, and surgical operations. Survival rate varies, but most patients survive around a decade after getting diagnosed. To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, click here.

About Parkin Syndrome

Parkin syndrome can be considered a genetic variant of early-onset Parkinson’s. It is linked to a mutation in the PARk2 gene and around 18 percent of people with early-onset disease have it. Patients present similarly to sporadic Parkinson’s, dealing with symptoms such as tremors, postural instability, and slowed movements. Parkin syndrome tends to respond very well to a treatment called deep brain stimulation. This variant also does not present with the characteristic Lewy bodies that are a critical component of the disease mechanism in sporadic Parkinson’s.

Ozzy has dealt with a variety of serious health issues lately, including falls (most likely the result of Parkin) and the flu. He also recently had surgery on his neck. However, the latest advances in treatment means that he should still be able to enjoy himself when he starts touring again.

Parkinson’s disease can be a scary diagnosis, but it doesn’t have to mean that life is over.

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