Recognizing early signs of Parkinson’s: what you need to know

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Parkinson’s disease is a condition that impacts the nervous system and makes movement difficult over time. Although there’s no cure, medication and sometimes surgery can help manage its symptoms.

Scientists provide valuable information on what to look for if you suspect you or someone you know may have Parkinson’s.

Common Symptoms to Watch For

The first signs of Parkinson’s often show up as tiny shakes or tremors in one hand. This shaking is not like the kind you might have after a lot of exercise or too much caffeine.

It’s more rhythmic and can happen when the hand is resting. Some people experience a specific type of tremor where they rub their thumb and forefinger together in a motion called “pill-rolling.”

But tremors aren’t the only thing to watch for. Movement overall may become slower and more difficult. For example:

  • Your steps may become shorter.
  • It may become hard to stand up from a chair.
  • You might notice your feet dragging or shuffling when you walk.

You might also feel stiffness in your muscles, which can happen anywhere in your body. This stiffness can make moving around painful and limit how far you can stretch or bend your arms or legs.

Because of this, people with Parkinson’s may develop a stooped posture and can also have problems with balance and are more prone to falls.

In the early stages, other changes may also appear:

  • The face might show little or no emotion.
  • Arms may not swing normally while walking.
  • Speech might become soft or slurred.

Over time, even more changes can occur, like:

  • Difficulty blinking or smiling.
  • Changes in handwriting, making it appear smaller.
  • A monotone speaking voice.

Next Steps: When to Seek Medical Advice

If you or someone you know is showing any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Only a medical professional can confirm whether these signs are due to Parkinson’s or some other condition.

Early diagnosis can be extremely helpful in managing symptoms and improving the quality of life. So don’t wait, especially if you notice symptoms getting worse or spreading from one side of the body to the other.

By understanding these early signs and symptoms, you’ll be better prepared to seek help and begin treatment as soon as possible.

With advances in medicine and technology, there are more tools than ever to manage Parkinson’s and help individuals maintain an active lifestyle.

If you care about Parkinson’s disease, please read studies about Vitamin E that may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, and Vitamin D could benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about new way to treat Parkinson’s disease, and results showing COVID-19 may be linked to Parkinson’s disease.

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