The brain controls all actions in the body using an intricate network of nerves connecting everything from head to toe. Parkinson’s is a neurological progressive disease that affects this network and disrupts vital nerve signals controlling body parts and functions. The disease does not have a permanent cure. But its symptoms can be managed with treatment, therapy, and lifestyle changes. One must recognize early signs of Parkinson’s disease to get a prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Stress or physical fatigue can trigger shaky hands. However, a tremor that develops in the thumb, one of the fingers, the hand, or even the chin while resting may be an early sign of Parkinson’s. Tremors can start in the fingers but can turn into severely uncontrolled movements affecting the entire arm as the condition progresses.
Poor balance, posture, and gait
Changes in one’s walk and pace, like suddenly walking slower, could be another early sign of the disease. Parkinson’s also affects the nerves that control flexibility and balance. If the person takes more time or struggles with maintaining balance, it indicates damage to the basal ganglia nerves. Changes in stance are also noticeable as the disease progresses, with one developing a stooped or hunched-over posture.
Tremors, stiffness, restless leg syndrome, and discomfort associated with the disorder also affect one’s sleep quality and cause insomnia. This leads to daytime drowsiness and severe fatigue brought on by chemical changes in the brain.
Changes in speech and writing
Small, cramped handwriting or experiencing trouble writing are subtle signs of the disease that one should not ignore, especially if there are no underlying ailments. Changes in one’s voice, like monotonous speech, slurring, soft speech, or even increased hesitation before speaking, are all symptoms of early-stage Parkinson’s.
Loss of smell
Conditions like the common cold and infections can affect one’s sense of smell. However, with this disorder, gradual loss of smell can develop years before other symptoms of Parkinson’s, making it an important sign to recognize.
Mood and anxiety disorders
Physical symptoms can also trigger changes in one’s mood and personality, resulting in depression or anxiety. Patients may also fear the progression after getting a diagnosis, which could lead to problems with concentration, palpitations, and constant worry.
An overactive bladder or rigid bowel movements are signs of various neurological disorders. So people with Parkinson’s could experience issues like constipation, nausea, and bloating.