Understanding Parkinson's Disease -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that progresses slowly. Some people will first notice a sense of weakness, difficulty walking, and stiff muscles. Others may notice a tremor of the head or hands. Parkinson's is a progressive disorder and the symptoms gradually worsen. The general symptoms of Parkinson's disease include:

  • Slowness of voluntary movements, especially in the initiation of such movements as walking or rolling over in bed
  • Decreased facial expression, monotonous speech, and decreased eye blinking
  • A shuffling gait with poor arm swing and stooped posture
  • Unsteady balance; difficulty rising from a sitting position
  • Continuous "pill-rolling" motion of the thumb and forefinger
  • Abnormal tone or stiffness in the trunk and extremities
  • Swallowing problems in later stages
  • Lightheadedness or fainting when standing (orthostatic hypotension)

Call Your Doctor About Parkinson's Disease If:

You suspect Parkinson's disease might be at the root of any of the symptoms listed above. Drugs and other therapies are very effective in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. There are many ways to help a person with Parkinson's disease.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on July 14, 2017

Sources

SOURCES: 

Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Academy of American Family Physicians. 

National Parkinson Foundation. 

American Parkinson Disease Foundation.

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