In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we wanted to shed some light on some of the easily missed early indicators of this progressive nervous system disorder. Approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease per year in the US alone and over 1 million in the country are suffering from it currently. There are many ways to slow the effects, so it is always ideal to catch it early on and set up a health plan with your doctor as soon as possible.
Some initial signs of Parkinson’s Disease may look like:
- Tremors. Experiencing tremors in your fingers or with movement between your pointer finger and your thumb. You hand might also tremor while at rest.
- Changes in Writing. Your handwriting getting smaller or more cramped and writing becoming more difficult.
- Changes in Speech. People starting to notice that you are speaking more softly or loudly than you have previously, vocal hoarseness, or speaking in monotone sentences without the usual inflection.
- Changes in Walking. A more stooped posture or a harder time keeping your balance can both be early indicators of Parkinson’s.
- Trouble Moving. Muscle stiffness, rigidity, and a slowing of day to day movements that does not go away with increased movement. It could also look like a decrease in automatic movements such as blinking or moving your arms when you walk.
None of these by themselves are a guarantee that you are in the early stages of Parkinson’s. But if you or a loved one are experiencing one or more of these symptoms and it is not going away over time, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your local geriatrician to check it out!
Spears, Dr. Chauncey, ed. “10 Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease.” Parkinson’s Foundation. The Parkinson’s Foundation. Accessed April 6, 2022. https://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/10-early-warning-signs.
“Parkinson’s Disease.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, March 24, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055.