16 Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease to be Aware of.

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Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a condition in which parts of your brain becomes gradually damaged over many years. This disease is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the part of your brain known as the ‘substantia nigra‘ which is important for the regulation of muscle tone and movement.

This causes a chemical called ‘dopamine‘ which regulates movement in your body, to be reduced. The loss of the nerve cells is a slow process and the symptoms of Parkinson’s usually start to develop when 80% of them have been lost.

1 in 500 people has this disease. Most people start to develop symptoms when they are over 50 years old. However, 1 in 20 sufferers first experience symptoms when they are under 40. Men are slightly more likely to get it than women.

There is no known reason for why this happens and there is no cure. However, most people with Parkinson’s, with advances in treatment, now have a normal or near-normal life expectancy and can experience a good quality of life.

Genetics may cause about 10 to 15% of cases, though it is rare for Parkinson’s to be passed down through the generations.

There is inconclusive evidence that suggests that pesticides, herbicides and industrial pollution may contribute to causing this disease.

16 Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease to be Aware of.

No two people have the same, exact symptoms and the progression of this illness varies from one person to another.

Some early signs of this illness include, loss of smell and a person’s handwriting becoming smaller.

The symptoms include:-

1. Tremors. Involuntary shaking of particular parts of your body. For example, your hand may tremble when it’s at rest.

2. Slowed movement. Your steps could become shorter when you walk and you could drag your feet when walking.

3. Stiff and inflexible muscles. This can cause problems with your balance, your muscles can be painful and your range of motion is limited. Your posture may become stooped and you could experience a decreasing ability to perform unconscious movements like swinging your arms when you walk, blinking or smiling. Your muscles in your face can stiffen or take a long time to move.

4. Your speech could become more of a monotone and become softer, quicker or you may hesitate before speaking.

5. Nerve pain such as burning, coldness or numbness.

6. Problems with attention, planning, language or memory.

7. Mood disorders like depression, anxiety, apathy, irritability, hallucinations and delusions.

8. Fatigue

9. Dizziness, blurred vision or fainting.

10. Constipation.

11. Urinating a lot at night or incontinence.

12. Sexual problems.

13. Excessive sweating.

14. Swallowing difficulties.

15. Excessive production of saliva.

16. Insomnia.

What can Help to Manage Parkinson’s?

Many people respond well to treatment which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medication and even brain surgery.

Exercise helps you to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project shows that people with Parkinson’s who start exercising earlier for a minimum of 2.5 hours a week experience a slower decline in their quality of life compared to those who start later.

Also, there is limited research saying that antioxidants in red wine and berries may slow the progression and improve your survival rate.

Parkinson’s Disease has been in my family. My grandfather suffered with it for a few years before he died about 28/29 years ago. His decline seemed to be rapid. He was a healthy, robust gentleman in his 70s but by his early 80s, he needed to use a Zimmer frame to help him with his mobility. And I also remember him experiencing hallucinations.

Hopefully, treatments for this disease have progressed since then.

I hope this article has enlightened you about Parkinson’s.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box, below.

Rachel x

Sources: parkinson.org, nhs.co.uk, parkinson’s.uk, mayoclinic.org, webmd.com, michealjfox.org, medicalnewstoday.com

6 thoughts on “16 Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease to be Aware of.

  1. Very helpful, Rachel. As I approach 60, I begin to think about these things. Beginning to show two or three of the signs, though I attribute them to age more than the onset of Parkinson’s. Still something to keep an eye on. Thanks for sharing. Very interesting stuff.

  2. A fantastic post, Rachel. I’m very sorry about your grandfather. I’d like to hope that diagnostics and treatments are continually evolving and improving, though sadly we don’t seem to hear too much to suggest effective treatments are readily available. But all the awareness can only be a good thing so people can get the help they need, or help loved ones who may be developing Parkinson’s. xx

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