Parkinson's disease is a chronic condition caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Diagnosis can sometimes take years; knowing symptoms can speed up the process.
You will need
- An observant eye
- A doctor
Step 1 Notice tremors Take note of tremors, the most common and often earliest symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Tremors are a steady and rhythmic shaking of the hands or feet.
Step 2 Test rigidity Test rigidity. Muscle stiffness is another common symptom. Stretch and move limbs to see if they feel heavy or weak.
Check for a decrease in facial expressions, as this is also an indicator of rigidity.
Step 3 Look for bradykinesia Look for a noticeable slowness in movement, known as bradykinesia. Movement may also be incomplete or hard to start.
Step 4 Test balance Test the difficulty of keeping balanced with a gentle push. Parkinson’s disease can cause postural instability, which leads to loss of balance.
Check for a bent-forward posture when standing. This adds to the loss of balance.
Step 5 Look for loss in automatic movements Look for a loss in automatic movements, such as blinking or swallowing. Parkinson’s disease reduces many functions that are normally unconscious.
Step 6 See a doctor If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor for a thorough examination.
Did you know? Parkinson’s disease does not only affect the elderly. Ten percent of Parkinson’s patients are 40 years or younger.