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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)

 

Recommended Related to Parkinson's

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Parkinson's Disease

Since you've recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, ask your doctor these questions at your next visit. 1. What stage is my illness in now? 2. How quickly do you think my disease will progress? 3. How will Parkinson's disease affect my work? 4. What physical changes can I expect? Will I be able to keep up the activities, hobbies, and sports I do now? 5. What treatments do you suggest now? Will that change as the disease progresses? 6. What are the side effects of medication?...

Read the 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Parkinson's Disease article > >

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. In the disease's early stages, drugs can be very beneficial. There are many ways to help a person with Parkinson's disease.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on March 21, 2014
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