How to Detect the Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

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.

Close
X
Playback

Up next in Aging & Health (18 videos)

Learn how to stay strong and fit as you get older in this Howcast video series.

You Will Need

  • An observant eye
  • A doctor

Steps

  1. 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.

  2. Step 2

    Test rigidity

    Test rigidity. Muscle stiffness is another common symptom. Stretch and move limbs to see if they feel heavy or weak.

  3. Check for a decrease in facial expressions, as this is also an indicator of rigidity.

  4. Step 3

    Look for bradykinesia

    Look for a noticeable slowness in movement, known as bradykinesia. Movement may also be incomplete or hard to start.

  5. 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.

  6. Check for a bent-forward posture when standing. This adds to the loss of balance.

  7. 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.

  8. Step 6

    See a doctor

    If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor for a thorough examination.

  9. Did you know? Parkinson's disease does not only affect the elderly. Ten percent of Parkinson's patients are 40 years or younger.

Comments