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What Are the Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

what are the signs of parkinsons disease

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Being somewhat unsteady on your feet or having less steady hands can simply be a part of going old, but when a person has tremors in their hands that go far beyond unsteadiness then this may be an indicator that they have Parkinson’s Disease. It is a condition that most people will be familiar with even if they don’t have someone in their family suffering from it. That may be due to sports or acting celebrities like Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox, and it is good in the way that so much has gone into Parkinson’s disease research based on the advocacy of people. But what are the signs of Parkinson’s disease?

This disease is wholly debilitating for people, and those who have it will be quick to tell you that all of us who have solid functioning hands shouldn’t take them for granted. The loss of dexterity in the hands is what comes along with the tremors that Parkinson’s is known for, and these tremors are often most pronounced in the hands to begin with. As for what does Parkinson’s disease do, it impairs balance and makes many muscle movements involuntary – meaning the person isn’t choosing to move that way and there’s nothing they can do to stop it from happening. In this way Parkinson’s has similarities with tardive dyskinesia.

That condition can be reversed, but Parkinson’s is a disease that suffers will need to manage throughout their lives. The good news there is that medications like Requip work very well to reduce severity of Parkinson’s symptoms, and interestingly this same medication can be a good way to stop restless legs syndrome. If you’ve never experienced that, it’s a sensation where you feel compelled to move your legs. Nothing to do with what are the signs of Parkinson’s disease, but it has its roots in the same neurological dysfunction that is going on with the disease.

One Side or the Other

We’ll look at what are the signs of Parkinson’s disease in more detail with this entry, along with what can be done for better treatment outcomes when it is possible to supplement Parkinson’s treatment medication with other approaches. This disease may mean the end of life as people knew it, but advances in pharmacology and improved physical therapy these days means it’s not the dire diagnosis it once was.

The first thing to know about what are the signs of Parkinson’s disease is that the symptoms will usually start to appear on one side of the body and not the other. And instead of tremors the person may start to see unexplained joint stiffness in wrists or elbows and generally slowed movement for limbs and extremities on that side of the body. Often when people really start to be concerned about themselves is when they don’t have expression registering on their face.

From there the person may start to realize that the can’t help but speak softly, even when they are trying to speak with their voice at a normal volume. Symptoms will worsen quickly if people don’t begin on a Parkinson’s treatment regimen as soon as possible, and it is for this reason that knowing what are the signs of Parkinson’s is so important. If identifying them gets you in to see a doctor and then neurologist without delay then you’ll benefit from starting treatment earlier.

Dopamine Deficiencies

Men are more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women, and other risk factors for this disease are:

  • Age – it is rare for people to develop it under the age of 60
  • Heredity – it is possible to inherit your risk for Parkinson’s but this is usually true only if more than one person has had it in your family
  • Toxin exposure – this is especially true for herbicides and pesticides, and the connection between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

All of this is good information to have too around what are the signs of Parkinson’s disease, but knowing what is the physiological cause of the tremors and bradykinesia of this disease will be helpful too. There are 4 major neurotransmitter chemicals at work in everyone’s brain, and one of them is dopamine. With this disease what happen is neurons in the brain that stay perfectly healthy in most people start to break down and die for people with Parkinson’s. When this happens less dopamine is in the brain, and the long-term lack of it is what starts the abnormal brain activity leading to Parkinson’s.

We’ll wrap up here with good news that recently there has been positive research into Lewy bodies and the way they contribute to Parkinson’s. Researchers believe that with a better understanding of a certain protein (alpha-synuclein) in these brain substances may provide more hope of a cure for the disease. Let’s hope so and maybe they’ll be less of a need to know what are the signs of Parkinson’s in the future.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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