The Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disease. Movement in the body is typically controlled by dopamine, the chemical that carries signals between the nerve and the brain. When the cells that normally produce dopamine die, the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's appear.
Symptoms generally develop slowly, sometimes over several years. The progression of Parkinson's differs from person to person due to the diversity of the disease. Although there isn't currently a cure, treatment options are available, including medication and surgery. With proper treatment and support from friends and family, people with Parkinson's disease can live long and fulfilling lives.
The disease itself isn't fatal; however, the complications can be serious. The sooner it's treated, the better. A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease can take time. A family doctor might be the first to notice it, and your loved one may be referred to a neurologist.
Knowing what the early signs of Parkinson's are is essential. You'll receive the necessary medical treatment needed and your loved one can live a long and happy life. It might be time to visit a doctor if you notice any of the following reoccurring early signs of the disease.
Have you noticed a subtle shaking or tremor in your loved one's finger, hand, or chin? A tremor while at rest is a common sign of Parkinson's disease. The person experiencing the tremor is likely to be the only individual who notices this initially, but the shaking will worsen and become noticeable to others, however, as the condition develops.
A sudden change in the size of a person's handwriting may be an early indicator of the disease. People with Parkinson's have a difficult time controlling movement because of the changes occurring in the brain; motor skills like writing become more difficult.
The medical term for small handwriting is “micrographia.” Have you noticed that a loved one's handwriting appears cramped, using small letters, and closed spaces? Keep an eye out for any unusual handwriting changes. If it's on-going, consider a consultation with a doctor.
Stiffness in the Body
People affected with Parkinson's often experience stiffness in their arms and legs. Many have likened the sensation to a feeling of being “stuck to the floor.” Is there a difference in the way your loved one sways their arms as they walk? Or do they walk with uncoordinated, jerky movements? These changes could signify early Parkinson's disease.
Other Signs to Watch For
Additional Parkinson's symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of smell
- A low or soft voice
- Masked Face
As the disease advances and symptoms start to increase, your loved one might require additional treatments and therapies. Parkinson's is often linked to Dementia in Seniors.
Consider contacting a home healthcare service that provides Dementia care in Toronto — people in the later stages of the disease can experience Dementia, hallucinations, and depression. You'll want expert support from experienced healthcare professionals to give your loved one the high-quality care and support they deserve.
If you've witnessed any of the above signs recently, don't take any chances. Talk to a doctor about Parkinson's disease. Although there may be some challenges ahead, if you treat the disease early with the right treatments and support system, your loved one can live a happy and fulfilling life.