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Are You Missing These 9 Early Signs Of Parkinson’s?

posted on 7/27/2016 Facebook Facebook

A progressive and chronic movement disorder, PD often begins with mild symptoms and gradually advances over time. The problem begins when the nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter, dopamine in the brain begin to die off. Most cases begin at the age of 60, however, it can also occur in younger adults. 

It is easy to miss early signs of PD especially if they occur sporadically. And while many consider these signs as a normal part of aging they could be indicative of Parkinson’s. Early detection can improve treatment and help in managing the symptoms better. 

Here are ten signs that can be easily missed when it comes to detecting PD. The symptoms can differ from one person to other and no one symptom qualifies you for having Parkinson’s. But, if you observe more than two of these signs then you should definitely seek medical advice. 

1.Tremor (Shaking)
According to National Parkinson’s Foundation, a tremor is perhaps the most recognizable sign of PD. So if your finger, thumb, hand, chin, lip or limbs twitch or tremor when at rest, it could mean an onset of Parkinson’s.

2.Changes In Handwriting
If your handwriting has suddenly gone from big and loopy to small and cramped, then it could be an early indicator of Parkinson’s. The most distinct and noticeable change in form is your signature. This happens because of the changes in the brain which can make fine motor skills like writing more difficult. 

3.Reduced Sense Of Smell
One of the earliest warning signs of PD and many other cognitive disorders is partial or complete loss of smell. So, if you’re having trouble smelling pungent foods or picking up your favorite fragrance then it''s best to talk to your doctor. 

4.Sleep Disturbances
We all have those days when sleep doesn’t come easy. However, if tossing and turning take on a new meaning during night, then it could mean PD. Kicking, punching; flailing your arms and even falling out of the bed could indicate an underlying problem. 

5.Slow & Stiff Movements
An uncontrolled tightness of the muscles and joints which does not go away is most often presented in early stages of PD. Parkinson’s causes impairment of motor neurons which can make movement both difficult and painful. 

6.Tummy Troubles
One symptom that predates the other motor related symptoms in PD is constipation. This disease is known to impact the autonomic nervous system which controls functions like digestion and movement of bowels. So, if you’re spending too much time in the toilet with no outcome or are increasingly straining then it could be due to Parkinson’s. 

7.Changes In Speech And Voice
A muffled or soft voice, called hypophonia is often one of the earliest symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Some patients may also have excessively fast speech accompanied by occasional stammering. 

8.Facial Changes (Masking)
If your face has suddenly gone from being all smiling to gloomy and expressionless then it may be more than just ‘a bad day’. Many people do not realize these changes unless someone points it out. However, if you wear a blank stare and don’t blink your eyes too often then you should talk to your doctor about Parkinson’s.

9.Poor Posture
While posture changes are small and happen over time they are a recognizable symptom of PD. If sitting or standing erect becomes a task for you, it shouldn’t be ignored. Stooping, leaning and slouching are all symptoms of an underlying Parkinson’s.

Although there is no known cure for Parkinson’s, early detection can pave treatment and add productive years to life. Genetic testing can help you assess your risk of PD and offer preventative strategies to delay the onset or even protect you from the disease. Speak to our counselors today to know about a personal genomics test for early disease assessment. You can reach us at: info@positivebioscience.com or 1800-3070-6727 (Toll-free) 

References:
1.American Parkinson Disease Association (http://www.apdaparkinson.org/)
2.Jankovic J. Parkinson''s disease: clinical features and diagnosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;79(4):368-76. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2007.131045. Review. PubMed PMID: 18344392.
3.Massano J, Bhatia KP. Clinical approach to Parkinson''s disease: features, diagnosis, and principles of management. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012 Jun;2(6):a008870. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a008870. PubMed PMID: 22675666; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3367535.
4.Khoo TK, Yarnall AJ, Duncan GW, Coleman S, O''Brien JT, Brooks DJ, Barker RA, Burn DJ. The spectrum of nonmotor symptoms in early Parkinson disease. Neurology.2013 Jan 15;80(3):276-81. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31827deb74. PubMed PMID: 23319473; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3589180.
5.Baig F, Lawton M, Rolinski M, Ruffmann C, Nithi K, Evetts SG, Fernandes HR, Ben-Shlomo Y, Hu MT. Delineating nonmotor symptoms in early Parkinson''s disease and first-degree relatives. Mov Disord. 2015 Nov;30(13):1759-66. doi: 10.1002/mds.26281. Epub 2015 Jul 14. PubMed PMID: 26179331.
6.Poewe W. Non-motor symptoms in Parkinson''s disease. Eur J Neurol. 2008 Apr;15  Suppl 1:14-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02056.x. Review. PubMed PMID: 18353132.

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