Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease or progressive disorder of the nervous system that impacts movement. Often the symptoms will start quite gradually and will just be a barely noticeable tremor in one hand. Tremors are a common symptom of this disease, but it may also cause slowed movement and stiffness. People who are in the early stages of this disease may have subtle symptoms such as their face showing little or no expression, arms not swinging when walking, or softer or more slurred speech. As the condition worsens over time, so will the symptoms. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, there are medications that can be taken to improve symptoms.
A tremor or shaking is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It will usually begin in a limb such as the fingers or hand. It can cause the limb to tremble uncontrollably when you are resting, or have a pill-rolling tremor that involves rubbing the thumb and forefinger back and forth.
Parkinson’s disease may cause stiffness of the muscles to occur in any part of the body. This can be a painful experience that can also limit the range of motion and make it harder to move around.
The brain cell damage that is caused by this disease can sometimes lead to Parkinson’s memory loss and impairment of other cognitive functions such as thinking speed and problem solving. It can also lead to changes in behavior that may cause issues with relationships, independence, and daily living tasks. Around fifty percent of people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease will go on to develop dementia within 1-15 years.
Known as bradykinesia, slowed movement may be a symptom of Parkinson’s disease over time. As the disease progresses, it may slow your ability to move your body down, which can lead to even simple tasks becoming more difficult and time-consuming. People with this condition may take shorter steps when walking, for example, or have trouble getting into and out of chairs.
Impaired Balance and Posture
A person with Parkinson’s disease may develop a stooped posture or may develop issues with balance over time as a result of the disease, which could lead to a higher risk of accidents such as trips and falls.
Somebody with Parkinson’s disease may speak faster or softer than they used to, hesitate before talking more often, or slur their words. Their speech may also become more monotone.
Automatic Movement Loss
Another symptom of Parkinson’s disease is a loss of automatic movements. Somebody with this disease may have less ability to perform movements that the body should do unconsciously such as blinking, swinging the arms when walking, or smiling.
When To Get Professional Help
If you or a loved one have displayed any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to diagnose the condition and rule out any other causes.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that can affect both the body and mind. The earlier symptoms are spotted, the more likely medication can be given to help reduce and improve them.