Because some famous people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), like Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali, and former President George W. H. Bush, have publicly shared about their condition, you may be aware of the most common signs of PD, like uncontrollable tremors and twitches.
However, PD affects everyone differently and doesn’t always include random movements. Our neurologists at Advanced Medical Care in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, have extensive experience diagnosing and treating all types of movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Because we know that the sooner you seek treatment for PD symptoms, the better your chances are of managing them and living a full and active life. We want to spread the word about the lesser-known signs of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease occurs when brain cells that produce dopamine die or stop functioning. Since dopamine is one of the main neurotransmitters that coordinates the muscle and nerve cells that enable movement, the hallmark signs of PD are motor skill problems. It’s also why PD is classified as a movement disorder. The best-known motor skill symptoms are easily detected and are the ones most people associate with PD.
Since PD slows muscle movement and response time, look for signs like less arm swinging when walking, lack of facial expression, less blinking, and delayed reactions.
PD is known to cause muscle stiffness.
Classic PD tremors are rhythmic and involuntary. They could affect a single finger, the hand, or the whole limb, and are most noticeable at rest.
PD symptoms aren’t isolated to physical movement; they can also alter the mind. Look for signs such as:
If your loved one exhibits any of these symptoms, call us to schedule an evaluation. These symptoms can point to mental issues that may not be related to Parkinson’s disease.
Some PD symptoms are invisible to the casual onlooker, but you may notice them if you live with your loved one. These include:
These are signs that PD may be affecting their autonomic nervous system.
In addition to motor skill problems and autonomic disorders, PD can lead to an array of physical symptoms like:
Again, each of these symptoms alone may indicate other medical conditions, so resist the temptation to self-diagnose. Although there’s no definitive lab test to confirm Parkinson’s disease, our team draws on years of education, experience, and research to rule out other conditions.