What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological disorder caused by the death or impairment of neurons in the brain. The incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, and it is estimated that only about 4% of people with the disease are diagnosed with it before the age of 50.
Potential causes of the disease include genetic inheritance of certain genes that increase the risk of developing it, and neurological damage caused by toxins in the environment, such as pesticides and heavy metals. If you have relatives that have developed the disease in the past there’s a chance you could too, so a visit to a physician for a check-up and an assessment of the potential risks is recommended. We suggest a neurologist in Islamabad, or any that are more convenient for you.
If you feel like you, or someone you know, may already be suffering from some form of the disease, or are just curious about the characteristics of it, maybe our list of potential signs will help straighten things out.
The Symptoms, and What to Look Out For
Parkinson’s is primarily associated with involuntary muscular contraction, random shaking of parts of the body, slowed movement and a general loss of balance. The reason for this is because when the neurons become damaged or die, the levels of the neurochemical transmitter dopamine are reduced, leading to a loss of regulation of movement.
As a result of this loss of muscle and joint movement regulation, complications involving swallowing and chewing may arise, with the former potentially causing a build up of saliva, and the latter necessitating more effort.
Parkinson’s may also be accompanied psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and a form of dementia.
These are all symptoms associated with later phases of Parkinson’s. If you’re worried about the on-set of the disease, here are some early signs you should be aware of:
- Tremors: As we’ve said before, this is one of the most telling symptoms of Parkinson’s.However, tremors may also be caused by low blood sugar and other conditions.
- Micrographia: The technical term for reduced handwriting size. If you feel as though your writing has become abnormally cramped or small, it may be a secondary symptom of the disease.
- Stiffness: If you feel like your joints and limbs feel stiff throughout the day, this may be an indication of the disease, especially in conjunction with slowed movement.
- Masked Face: An early sign of Parkinson’s is the loss of distinct facial expressions, called masking. Someone affected by masking may be mistaken for being distressed or sad when that isn’t their mood at all.
- Sleep Disorders: These complications can range from waking up too frequently during sleeping hours to falling asleep during the day to developing an REM sleep disorder that involves sleep-walking.
A Final Word
We’ve mentioned quite a few associated symptoms and complications that may arise because of the disease, but a lot of these may be the result of some other condition. Therefore, it is imperative that you do not attempt to diagnose yourself with the disease on the basis of this list or any others online. This list serves only to alert you to the potential indicators of the disease, and to point you in the right direction. If you want an expert opinion, which you should get if you’re worried you might be at risk, you should seek out a professional. We recommend a neurologist in Karachi.