Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition whereby the signals communicated between the brain and nervous system are disrupted. This causes a number of impairments, many of which relate to movement. The symptoms are often subtle at first but become quite pronounced as the condition advances. What are the six early warning signs of the condition?
Tremors have been characterised as a key sign of the disease.
Tremors involve a persistent twitching or shaking of the hands, legs or chin. The tremors may start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor that may be in just one hand.
A person’s walking pattern may subtly start to change.
A person may begin to walk a lot slower or drag their feet as they walk.
This is often referred to as a “shuffling gait.” There may also be less of a swing in the arms when walking.
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Cramped or small handwriting
When a person starts to develop abnormally small or even cramped handwriting it could be a sign of Parkinson’s.
The condition is known as micrographia and doctors associate it with medical conditions that affect the nervous system or neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
Loss of smell
When a person seems to have more trouble with smelling foods or if the sense of smell has changed it could be a sign of Parkinson’s.
Known as hyposmia, it occurs when someone loses their ability to smell. Loss of smell is one of the most noticeable symptoms of Parkinson’s.
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This is when a person feels as if their feet are glued to the ground, especially when turning or changing direction.
Freezing is also when a person feels like their lower half is stuck but the top half is able to move.
Freezing also affects activities such as speaking or when doing a repetitive movement such as writing.
Mayo Clinic said: “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.
“Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand.
“Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.
“In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression.
“Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.”
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