Keep it ON is a community created by Bial Pharmaceuticals with the mission of empowering people with Parkinson’s. We want to create relevant and useful content for PwP and their caregivers, to help keep their lives ON and to generate awareness regarding the complexity of Parkinson’s.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary from person to person. At the beginning the symptoms are mild and often go unnoticed. The most typical signs of Parkinson’s are what is called the ‘motor symptoms’. These are mainly shaking, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness.
The shaking, also called tremor, often starts in one hand and is more apparent when you are resting it.
The slowing down of the movements, called bradykinesia, makes it more difficult to do usual things like tying your shoes, handling change, writing or playing a musical instrument. Having muscle stiffness means that you cannot stretch as far and movements can become painful.
Other common symptoms are poor balance and impaired posture, with a tendency to lean forward. Another thing that can be observed in a person affected by Parkinson’s is that they are less able to make unconscious movements such as blinking their eyes, swinging their arms as they walk, or smiling. It also becomes more difficult to speak and write. People with Parkinson’s tend to speak more softly, faster, slur their words or hesitate before talking. Their writing tends to become smaller.
The first symptoms perceived are, a slight sense of weakness, with a proneness to trembling in some particular part, sometimes in the head, but most commonly in one of the hands and arms.
Apart from the typical ‘motor symptoms’ there is a set of symptoms called the ‘non-motor symptoms’. These include depression and sleep problems, tiredness, poor concentration and bad memory, seeing things that are not there (visual hallucinations) or having abnormal thoughts (feeling paranoid or believing things that other people find strange and without basis). Parkinson’s can also affect other bodily functions that are beyond our control such as our blood pressure, how fast our bowels move or our sexual drive.
date of preparation February 2020