It is estimated that more than 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease. In the U.S. alone, a million people are living with the disease and as many as 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. While there is not a cure for the disease, there is treatment; however anyone with symptoms needs to have a medical diagnosis in order to rule out other causes.
The Mayo Clinic’s website provides a list of some of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s. The first sign can be a tremor that affects one hand and a person may frequently exhibit a back-and-forth rubbing motion of the thumb and forefinger known as a pill-rolling tremor. Tremors usually occur while the individual is at rest, and can affect the hands, limbs, and posture.
Another common sign of the disease is slowed movement known as bradykinesia. This can worsen over time and eventually affect a person’s ability to walk well or have trouble getting up out of a chair. In some cases one foot may drag, making walking even more challenging.
Other symptoms of the disease include rigid muscles and stiffness within any part of the body, and impaired posture and balance that may cause a person to become stooped or lead to falls. The disease can also cause a loss of automatic movements such as blinking, smiling or swinging your arms as you walk. In addition many people experience changes in their speech such as speaking in a monotone or more softly, more quickly or with a slur.
Finally many people suffering from Parkinson’s have problems writing. Often their writing becomes smaller and it is more difficult to do because of the tremors.
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.
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