Parkinson’s disease directly attacks the central nervous system. You might first notice symptoms after a tremor, or dyskinesia, develops. Parkinson’s progressively worsens overtime, so once symptoms arise, many patients go to the doctor to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan. There is no cure, but the treatments and medications available can help with symptoms, such as Austedo XR that helps with dyskinesia. Catching Parkinson’s early on can help slow symptom progression as well as help you manage the disease better—here are some early signs to watch out for:
Dyskinesia, or a tremor, is typically one of the first signs people notice of Parkinson’s and is the most characteristic symptom of the disease. Dyskinesia causes uncontrollable muscle movements that normally begin as slight shaking in areas of the body, like the fingers or hand, and it can progress to more severe shaking. Other areas of the body may also become impacted with tremors over time, it can extend to the face and neck, legs, jaw, and arms. These tremors, especially when they become more severe, can make it challenging to hold items like utensils—eventually, the patient may not be able to feed themself.
2. Muscle stiffness
If your body has been feeling inflexible and stiff, and daily tasks like tying your shoes, writing, and turning over in bed feel more challenging to complete, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. When trying to relax your body, it may be difficult due to the stiffness and rigidity of the muscles and you may be unable to stretch.
If you notice it’s taking you longer to do things and move around, this may be a sign of Parkinson’s. Slowed movements, or bradykinesia, is one of the main symptoms of the disease, and in combination with tremors and stiffness, balancing and coordination can become very difficult. Bradykinesia may interfere with daily activities and become frustrating to some patients.
Many diseases, disorders, and other health issues can cause fatigue. Fatigue in those with Parkinson’s is believed to be a result of chemical changes within the brain. Fatigue often does not go away with a good night’s rest, like normal tiredness does, and it can also leave you feeling very weak. With Parkinson’s, your day-to-day feelings may be variable—one day you may feel fit and refreshed, and others you may find it hard to complete daily tasks. Not only is physical fatigue a common symptom of Parkinson’s, but you may also experience mental fatigue and face challenges with concentration.
5. Urination problems
Parkinson’s affects the central nervous system—this system is essential in sending the messages your brain wants to give to your body. With Parkinson’s, this can specifically impact the signals your brain sends to your bladder. Impacted bladder signals may cause a Parkinson’s patient to experience an overactive bladder and a frequent and urgent need to urinate, even if their bladder is not full, a frequent need to urinate throughout the night that wakes them up, or even urinary incontinence.