Most Common Parkinson Symptoms

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Parkinson’s Disease is a tricky and silent killer. The thing with this certain disease is that the signs and symptoms specific to a person with Parkinson occurs or manifests when about 80% of the brain cells have been affected and degenerated.

The main thing that occurs in patient with a parkinson’s disease is that the Substantia Nigra of the brain stem becomes damaged. Unknown to many, the Substantia Nigra is where Dopamine is formed and produced. We might ask—what is dopamine and why is this certain neurotransmitter very important when speaking of Parkinson’s Disease?

Simply put—dopamine is the neurotransmitter or brain chemical responsible for our motor responses. Each flick of our fingers and sway of our arms and legs—it has something to do with the levels of Dopamine. Therefore, following the course of disease, when the substantia nigra is damaged, production of dopamine is lessened and body movement becomes faulty.

Since PD is mainly a problem with muscle movement, most of the Parkinson symptoms are related to movement and ambulation:

-          Tremors—these are very common Parkinson symptoms. The main determinant of a Parkinson tremor is that it occurs when at rest (thus, resting tremors). When a person is not doing anything, muscles start to tremble. However, once a person engages in an activity, these tremors tend to disappear.

-          Shuffling Gait/ Parkinsonian Gait—this is most obvious when a person with Parkinson symptoms start to walk and ambulate. Stooped posture, leaning forward, head bent downward—these are common postures of a person with Parkinson’s. When a person with PD starts to walk, the person will appear like his steps are shuffling left and right. These small and unsteady gaits are called festination. Also, they have the tendency to stop in the middle of their movement and may find it intricate to turn backward.

-          Difficulty speaking and swallowing—it is not only the muscles used for movement that is affected with a Parkinson symptom. It also affects the muscles of the throat leading to difficulty in speaking as well as swallowing foods. Meaning, there is a high risk of aspiration in patients with Parkinson symptoms.

-          Bradykinesia—or slow movement is a very common symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. This is also related to the levels of Dopamine. Bradykinesia is not only true when a person walks—it also happens when a person eats, talks, blinks and similar movements.

-          Muscle Rigidity—this may present in a form when a person with Parkinson symptoms suddenly stops walking, blinking or talking. It may also render a person with a mask-like expression and waxy-flexibility—this means that the person may stand like a statue unable to move anything, not even change the expression in his or her face.

These Parkinson symptoms can be treated effectively with the use of drugs and these symptoms can be lessened. It is important that once the day starts, the person has to take the daily dose of Parkinson’s drug to ensure that the daily activities may be executed without too much difficulty and effort.




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