Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that affects the control of body movements.
Patients often experience trembling in their hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face. They may have difficulties in moving their body and walking.
The symptoms generally come on slowly over time, and as the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become more common.
According to Patrick Lewis, Associate Professor at the University of Reading, and Alastair Noyce, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Queen Mary University of London, Parkinson’s disease may have some unusual signs.
One unusual sign is losing the sense of smell
Previous research has shown that it can be an early sign for Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
For example, about 90% of people living with Parkinson’s lose their sense of smell.
A recent study from the University of Michigan found that a poor sense of smell is linked to nearly 50% higher death risk in 10 years.
A second unusual sign is having problems in digestion and bowel movements.
Research has shown that many people with Parkinson’s experience problems with digestion and bowel movements.
These issues can appear much earlier than the Parkinson’s symptoms occur.
For example, constipation may be a very earliest feature of Parkinson’s, and it can appear 20 years before Parkinson’s is diagnosed, according to the researchers.
A third sign is acting out dreams at night.
During night sleep, there is a phase called rapid eye movement (REM). We usually have dreams in this phase.
Some people may develop REM sleep behavior disorder, in which they act out their dreams, move violently in their sleep, and may even injure themselves.
Research has shown that most people who develop this sleep disorder will develop Parkinson’s disease or a similar condition within a decade.
A fourth sign is feeling anxious and depressed.
People with Parkinson’s disease often report symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Researchers explain that this is maybe because the balance of chemical activity in the brain is disrupted.
These changes can happen ten years before people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s
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