9 Early Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease You Should Never, Ever Ignore
Symptom #1: Shaking And Tremors
Tremors usually start in one or both hands, and will spread to other areas of the body over time.
Many times, the tremors happen when the body is at rest, but not in motion or action. So the hands may shake while resting, but the tremors will stop if the person reaches for something.
Over time, though, the tremors will become more constant, and will affect the person’s ability to perform tasks such as writing.
Symptom #2: Slowness Of Movement
The technical term is bradykinesia, but it just means that the body moves more slowly than normal, and this slowness is not voluntary.
The slowness is most evident at the beginning of a motion, like reaching for something or getting up out of a chair.
Automatic motion may become something that the person has to think consciously about.
Symptom #3: Stiffness
Parkinson’s causes muscle stiffness, which can make moving all the more difficult.
Typically, the stiffness is more pronounced on one side of the body.
Symptom #4: Trouble With Balance
As with the slowness and tremors, this is a sign that the nervous system is not communicating properly with the body.
People with Parkinson’s find it difficult to stay balanced while walking and standing, and may stumble or fall frequently. Falling backwards is common.
In an aged person, falls are also very dangerous, and can lead to other complications.
Symptom #5: Loss Of Facial Expression
As the body’s muscles become stiff and slowed, they’ll also affect the face, resulting in an expressionless look.
This is because quick, automatic motions like smiling or frowning are slowed.
Symptom #6: Dragging Feet Or Shuffling Walk
As the muscles (and thus motion) become impaired, it’s not uncommon for the foot and leg on the affected side of the body to drag a bit while walking.
This can be slight or pronounced, but it will make walking slower, less steady, and uneven.
Symptom #7: Muffled Speech
Stiffness in the facial muscles not only makes it hard to smile, but also hard to form words clearly, so someone with Parkinson’s might be difficult to understand.
Their speech may sound muffled or slurred because their lips are having trouble forming the shapes of speech.
Symptom #8: Difficulty Thinking Clearly
Parkinson’s affects the nervous system, which of course includes the brain.
This means that many people with Parkinson’s suffer from mental and emotional troubles, too, including depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and psychosis.
They may also find it hard to form thoughts or concentrate.
Symptom #9: Trouble With Automatic Functions
Automatic functions like blinking and swallowing may also become difficult with Parkinson’s, and people with Parkinson’s may also drool, as they lose control over their mouth muscles.
Parkinson’s can also manifest in various other neurological and emotional ways, and no two people will experience the disease the same way.
If you see any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, talk to your doctor immediately about treatment options.
Parkinson’s is scary, but there’s research being done all the time to make it a thing of the past. You can even donate to help out.
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