|What are the
symptoms of Parkinson's disease?
tremulous motion, with lessened muscular power, in parts not in action and
even when supported; with a propensity to bend the trunk forward, and to
walk from a walking to a running pace: the senses and intellect being
The main symptoms of Parkinson's
disease (PD) are slowness of movement, muscular stiffness or rigidity,
tremor or shaking, and poor posture and balance.
You will find that the symptoms
develop slowly and gradually progress over years, but are greatly helped by
Tremor is the most well
known symptom of PD, but it is absent in one third of people when the
condition is first diagnosed. Tremor usually begins in one hand and then
spreads to the leg, before crossing to the other side. it may also be felt
internally. Typically it is most noticeable at rest and when stressed or
tired and disappearing during movement and when asleep.
Slowness, or lack of movement
(termed akinesia) is present in all people with PD. They tend to walk more
slowly, with a tendency to shuffle. Akinesia may also become apparent as
reduced blinking of the eyes, lack of facial expression, or reduced arm
swing when walking. Hesitancy on starting to walk or approaching doorways
(Freezing) may occur later on. Everyday movements like getting dressed and
handwriting become more difficult.
Stiffness or rigidity in
the muscles is a very common early sign of PD. Turning over in bed, getting
out of a chair, fastening buttons and carrying out other everyday tasks
becomes more difficult.
Poor balance and posture
leads to a tendency to stoop and falls.
Other symptoms in some
patients includes pain and discomfort in an arm or leg, anxiety and
depression, slowness of thinking and memory problems and tiredness and
disturbed sleep. Constipation is common and bladder problems, especially a
tendency to pass water more frequently and with more urgency, may occur.
Sexual and swallowing problems tend to become more of a problem later in the
Drugs for PD can be very
effective in treating the lack of movement and stiffness, but may themselves
cause side effects. Sleep disturbance, hallucinations and confusion, and
abnormal spontaneous movements (Dyskinesias) can be particular problems.
Your doctor, or specialist
nursing staff can explain more about your current and possible
The Parkinson's Disease
Society (telephone 020 7931 8080) can also provide detailed information http//www.parkinsons.org.uk
Useful books include:
'Parkinson's At Your Finger
Tips', by Marie Oxtoby and Adrian Williams, published in 2002 by Glass
ISBN 1 87236296 6
Useful Websites are:
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