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