Recognizing the Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

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On January 19, 2013, Posted by , In Home Care, By ,, , With Comments Off on Recognizing the Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a serious degenerative disorder of the human nervous system. It rarely affects individuals under the age of 50, and most commonly occurs in those who are considerably older. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually come on in a gradual manner and may not always be obvious. However, there are certain warning signs that should be considered as indicators of the disease.

Parkinson’s disease results from the inability of the brain to produce the chemical dopamine. This chemical makes it possible for the body and its extremities to move in the normal manner and is also important in shaping a person’s mood. This is why the symptoms are primarily associated with the way a person behaves and moves about.

The initial symptoms usually involve the shaking or trembling of one’s lip, chin, hands or fingers. This shaking can also affect a leg, and is noticeable because it continues even after the person sits down. This lack of control over the extremities can also be reflected in a person’s handwriting, with the words and letters appearing smaller or tighter. As the disease progresses, sufferers will experience stiffness in their arms and legs to the point that they have difficulty walking. These individuals may appear stiff or may not swing their arms when they walk. They may also appear stooped when they stand or walk. This slouching and stiffness can be accompanied by pain in the shoulders or hips. One’s facial appearance can also be affected by Parkinson’s. The disease can create the expression of being depressed or angry without any accompanying behavior.

There are other less obvious symptoms that can be warning signs of Parkinson’s disease. The sufferer may experience chronic constipation and speak hoarsely or in an extremely soft manner, and may even have difficulty in detecting the odors of certain foods, such as bananas or licorice. At night, the person may thrash about while sleeping, and may occasionally fall out of bed. Dizziness might be experienced when one gets up from bed or from a chair, even to the point of fainting.

Those with Parkinson’s will need to work out a plan with their doctors. They may also be referred to a neurologist for further treatment. As with other physical disorders, early diagnosis and treatment is the key to living with Parkinson’s disease.

 

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