The Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease That Should Not Be Ignored . In addition, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the neurological system that mainly affects the brain.
This is one of the main and most common nervous disorders in the elderly and is mainly characterized by impairing motor coordination and causing tremors and difficulties in walking and moving around. There are no ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease .
With aging, all healthy individuals experience progressive death of the nerve cells that produce dopamine. Some people, however, lose these cells (and consequently lower their dopamine levels much more) at a very fast rate and, thus, end up manifesting the symptoms of the disease.
News of the week:
It is not known exactly what the reasons that lead to this progressive and exaggerated loss of nerve cells (degeneration) are, even though the commitment of scholars on this subject is very great. We admit that more than one factor must be involved in triggering the disease. These factors can be genetic or environmental.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually start subtly and, therefore, are not always noticed at the earliest stage. However, over the course of a few months or years, they evolve and worsen, becoming more and more evident. The clinical picture is basically composed of four main signs:
- Stiffness (tightening of the muscles, especially at the level of the joints;
- Postural instability (difficulties related to balance, with frequent falls);
- Slowness and poverty of voluntary movements (akinesia or bradykinesia).
Among these four main ones, there is another diversity of Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms , some of them will be mentioned. So, check out the Top 10 Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease:
Hypophonia: Speech and swallowing may be affected. Speech may be slightly quieter, muffled, and less distinct. This is one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease when it manifests itself in a more severe form, the speech is fast, monotonous and incomprehensible.
Palilalia, the repetition of the initial syllable or word, similar to stuttering, can also occur in patients with more advanced disease and can be a side effect of medications. Sialorrhea and dysphagia are common problems in patients with more advanced disease.
Freezing (“FREEZING”): Transient inability to move the lower limbs, is one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, commonly observed in doorways or in narrow areas. Freezing may also be noticeable as subtle hesitation when starting walks after standing or after changing direction.
Tremor: Tremor is defined as rhythmic movement resulting from synchronized involuntary muscle contractions, being considered and known as one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease / Parkinson’s Disease Sign . This symptom is present in approximately 80% of cases and is often asymmetrical.
Seen in the early stages of the disease, tremor may be intermittent and may be triggered during stress and/or anxiety . Tremor in Parkinson’s disease and the disease called essential tremor (ET) can be confused.
Facial Apathy: One of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is changes in facial expression, also causing reduced blinking and smiles.
Stiffness: Stiffness can be defined as increased resistance to passively stretching a muscle and is commonly associated with bradykinesia. Two forms of rigidity are observed: “lead pipe” and sprocket.
About 90-99% of patients have this as one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease . Stiffness can be unilateral or bilateral, but is often asymmetrical.
Despite being common reports in the extremities, stiffness can affect the trunk as well, contributing to the changes and, as a consequence, postural deformities, seen in many patients with PD.
Stiffness is one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease that has important implications for the quality of life of all patients and, therefore, its evaluation and treatment is important in all cases.
It is commonly abolished or reduced by levodopa or dopamine agonists and is often minimal or absent in patients on long-term drug therapy.
Dystonia: Dystonia is also one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and most often affects the lower extremities, causing equinovarus posture in the foot and ankle and curling of the fingers.
In the upper extremities, the arm is kept adducted against the chest and flexed at the wrist; when severe, the hand may be held in a clenched fist and the palm may become macerated or thickened.
Movement Tremor: A smaller number of patients may have movement tremor among the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease .
Postural Instability: Changes in posture and balance are one of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease , not being frequent in the early stages. Posture can become more flexed, sometimes to extreme levels. Postural stability is affected, producing retropulsion.
This is sometimes obvious without provocation as it can also be recognized through physical assessment, which consists of standing behind the patient and pulling his shoulders back. Scoliosis, usually moving away from the more affected side, is occasionally seen.
In the same way that stiffness, mobility and postural balance become important factors in the patient’s quality of life and, therefore, evaluation and treatment is important in all cases.
Bradykinesia: Bradykinesia is poverty or slowness of movement. In the extremities, this results in a reduction in the range and speed of movement. With an incidence of 100%, bradykinesia is considered one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease .
In the early stages of the disease, bradykinesia may be subtle, but it can be seen in the reduction of arm swing during gait and during hesitation to initiate movement. It can best be identified through physical assessment, asking the patient to tap the index finger against the thumb, clench and open the fist, or tap the heel.
The more severe it is, the more difficult it is for the patient to initiate and maintain a given movement, producing functional weakness and muscle pain. However, in direct tests of motor skills and with incentive, the weakness can be abolished. Bradykinesia can be confused with depression.
Micrograph: Alteration of the spelling in which the writing appears “tight” with very small handwriting is a Major Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease , being observed in many patients. Light micrograph can be noted by comparing old and recent signatures. In some cases, the patient has great difficulty writing. There are cases in which the use of medication(s) can reverse or alleviate the symptom.
Gait Changes: Gait abnormalities may include lameness and reduced or absent arm swing (in early stages of the disease). As the disease progresses, the patient loses normal stride, the heel is hardly touching the floor during gait, there is a tendency to walk on tiptoe, and/or the feet tend to slide along the floor.
Another characteristic is having block turns (lack of trunk rotation when turning). Gait freezing is also very common among the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease . Gait changes are one of the most important factors that affect the quality of life of affected patients.
Rest Tremor: Rest tremor is one of the Main Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease , typically reduced or eliminated with movement of the extremities. It is commonly seen in the upper extremities during walking and can be seen most obviously when the patient is asked to make rapid movements with the contralateral extremity (clenching and opening the fists).