What are Early Signs of Parkinson’s?
Early Stage Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurological disorder that often begins with mild symptoms that gradually increase over time. Because the symptoms are so subtle in the early stages, the disease is often undiagnosed for years. The reduction in the body’s production of the chemical dopamine, which plays a role in movement and mood, already may be as much as 70 percent before the onset of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. It’s important to know how to recognize potential early signs of Parkinson’s.
Due to the complexity of the disease, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is based on a variety of factors.
Early Signs of Parkinson’s disease
- Difficulty walking, the inability to walk naturally or swing ones arms is an early symptom of PD. People with PD also may take short, uneven steps (shuffling), suffer from freezing spells, as well as experience difficulty judging obstacles and negotiating turns and corners.
- Tremors, particularly in the arms or hands. In early stages of the disease, tremor is usually experienced in one limb or on one side of the body, but other parts of the body may be affected as the disease progresses.
- Bradykinesia is the gradual degradation of movement caused by the brain’s lethargy in transmitting instructions to the desired parts of the body. Bradykinesia can affect facial muscles that may give the sufferer a mask-like appearance.
- Trouble with balance can be an early warning symptom of PD.
- Depression is common for people with PD.
- Loss of fine motor skills.
- Changes in handwriting, either shaky handwriting or writing smaller than usual.
- Changes in voice and speech patterns, such as softening voice or difficulty enunciating.
- REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD), which causes people to act out dreams, often precedes the development of disorders such as PD.
- Memory loss, trouble problem-solving or decline in mental abilities.
- Skin disorders such as dry rough skin or dandruff.