How to Detect the Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease





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Published on Dec 10, 2009

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Parkinson's disease is a chronic condition caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Diagnosis can sometimes take years; knowing symptoms can speed up the process.

Step 1: Notice tremors
Take note of tremors, the most common and often earliest symptom of Parkinson's disease. Tremors are a steady and rhythmic shaking of the hands or feet.

Step 2: Test rigidity
Test rigidity. Muscle stiffness is another common symptom. Stretch and move limbs to see if they feel heavy or weak.

Check for a decrease in facial expressions, as this is also an indicator of rigidity.

Step 3: Look for bradykinesia
Look for a noticeable slowness in movement, known as bradykinesia. Movement may also be incomplete or hard to start.

Step 4: Test balance
Test the difficulty of keeping balanced with a gentle push. Parkinson's disease can cause postural instability, which leads to loss of balance.

Check for a bent-forward posture when standing. This adds to the loss of balance.

Step 5: Look for loss in automatic movements
Look for a loss in automatic movements, such as blinking or swallowing. Parkinson's disease reduces many functions that are normally unconscious.

Step 6: See a doctor
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor for a thorough examination.

Did You Know?
Did you know? Parkinson's disease does not only affect the elderly. Ten percent of Parkinson's patients are 40 years or younger.


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