Parkinson’s Signs and Symptoms

back view of senior woman hugged by husband, sick on dementia

Parkinson’s disease symptoms can be different from one person to another and signs could be mild, but knowing what to look out for can help provide early diagnosis and treatment. 

While anyone could be at risk for developing Parkinson’s, research suggests it affects men more than women. Another risk is age: Most people with Parkinson’s first develop the disease after age 60, 5% – 10% experience onset before the age of 50.

Many researchers believe that Parkinson’s can result in a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins.

Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:

• Tremors or shaking in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head.

• Slowed movement. Parkinson’s disease can slow overall movements. Steps can become shorter, it may also be difficult to get in and out of a chair. 

• Rigid muscles. Stiffness may occur in any part of the body and can be painful, also limiting range of motion.

• Impaired posture and balance. Posture may become stooped and staying on balance can become difficult, leading to falls.

• Loss of automatic movements. Decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging arms when walking.

Depression and other emotional changes.

Difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking.

Urinary problems or constipation.

Many people with Parkinson’s disease state that prior to stiffness and tremors, they experienced sleep problems, loss of smell, and/or restless legs. While some of these symptoms may occur with normal aging, it’s important to talk to a doctor if they worsen or begin to interfere with daily living activities, such as working, taking care of a home, self-care and casual socializing.

Learn more about symptoms and treatments of Parkinson’s disease


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