Parkinson’s Disease – The Importance of Early Recognition

Recognizing Parkinson’s Disease from the early stage is an essential factor for optimal care. Here are some of the early signs to look out for:

Movement:

There may be a tremor in the hands.

Coordination:

A reduced sense of coordination and balance can cause people to drop items they are holding. They may be more likely to fall.

Gait:

The person’s posture may change, so that they lean forward slightly, as if they were hurrying. They may also develop a shuffling gait.

Facial expression:

This can become fixed, due to changes in the nerves that control facial muscles.

Voice:

There may be a tremor in the voice, or the person may speak more softly than before.

Handwriting:

This may become more cramped and smaller.

Sense of smell:

A loss of sense of smell can be an early sign.

Sleep problems:

These are a feature of Parkinson’s, and they may be an early sign. Restless legs may contribute to this.

Other common symptoms include:

mood changes, including depression, difficulty chewing and swallowing problems with urination, constipation, skin problems, sleep problems.

Recognizing Early Symptoms

Many people think that the early signs of Parkinson’s are normal signs of aging. For this reason, they may not seek help.

However, treatment is more likely to be effective if a person takes it early in the development of Parkinson’s disease. This is why it is reallg important to get an early diagnosis if possible.

Treatment at latter stages may not be as effective. 

Other Similar Conditions 

A few other conditions have similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease. They are:

  • Drug-induced Parkinsonism
  • Head traumaencephalitis
  • Stroke 
  • Cirticobasal degeneration
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • The similarity to other conditions can make it hard for doctors to diagnose Parkinson’s disease in the early stages.
  • Movement symptoms may start on one side of the body and gradually affect both sides.

Culled from Medical News Today


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