Skip to content

Parkinson's Disease Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

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

Understanding Parkinson's Disease -- the Basics

Parkinson's disease, which mostly affects older people but can even occur in younger adults, results from the gradual degeneration of nerve cells in the portion of the midbrain that controls body movements. The first signs are likely to be barely noticeable -- a feeling of weakness or stiffness in one limb, or a fine trembling of one hand when it is at rest. Eventually, the shaking (tremor) worsens and spreads, muscles become stiffer, movements slow down, and balance and coordination deteriorate...

Read the Understanding Parkinson's Disease -- the Basics 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
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Parkinsons disease illustration
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
hands on walker
How does the disease progress?
 
man with serious expression
8 common questions and answers.
intelligence quotient illustration
What are the advantages of DBS?
 
Parkinsons Disease Medications
Article
Questions Doctor Parkinsons
Article
 
Eating Right
Article
Parkinsons Exercise
Article
 
daughter consoling depressed mother
Article
senior man's hands
Article
 
Parkinsons Daily
Article
Acupunture
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections