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What Are The Very Early Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease

Recognizing Early Signs of Parkinsons Disease – AARP Arizona

About 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s disease, and both men and women can get it. Symptoms usually appear when someone is older than 50 and it becomes more common as people get older.

Many people wonder if you’re more likely to get Parkinson’s disease if you have a relative who has it. Although the role that heredity plays isn’t completely understood, we do know that if a close relative like a parent, brother, or sister has Parkinson’s, there is a greater chance of developing the disease. But Parkinson’s disease is not contagious. You can’t get it by simply being around someone who has it.

Living With Parkinson’s Disease

As Parkinson’s develops, a person who has it may slow down and won’t be able to move or talk quickly. Sometimes, speech therapy and occupational therapy are needed. This may sound silly, but someone who has Parkinson’s disease may need to learn how to fall down safely.

If getting dressed is hard for a person with Parkinson’s, clothing with Velcro and elastic can be easier to use than buttons and zippers. The person also might need to have railings installed around the house to prevent falls.

If you know someone who has Parkinson’s disease, you can help by being a good friend.

Waking Up Early In The Morning Can Be An Early Sign Of Parkinson’s Disease

According to a 2016 report by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation , sleep problems are common among those diagnosed with PD. In particular, waking up early in the morning regardless of one’s quality or quantity of sleep may serve as an early sign of the disease.

“Most people with Parkinson’s have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Both disease symptoms and anti-Parkinson’s medications can interfere with sleep,” the foundation explains. “Whether it is a habit from old work schedules or because of a very early bedtime, people with Parkinson’s often wake up too early in the morning.”

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How Is Parkinson’s Disease Treated

What are the symptoms of parkinsons?

If a doctor thinks a person has Parkinson’s disease, there’s reason for hope. Medicine can be used to eliminate or improve the symptoms, like the body tremors. And some experts think that a cure may be found soon.

For now, a medicine called levodopa is often given to people who have Parkinson’s disease. Called “L-dopa,” this medicine increases the amount of dopamine in the body and has been shown to improve a person’s ability to walk and move around. Other drugs also help decrease and manage the symptoms by affecting dopamine levels. In some cases, surgery may be needed to treat it. The person would get anesthesia, a special kind of medicine to prevent pain during the operation.

Read Also: Can Parkinson’s Run In The Family

Environmental Factors And Exposures

Exposure to pesticides and a history of head injury have each been linked with PD, but the risks are modest. Never having smoked cigarettes, and never drinking caffeinated beverages, are also associated with small increases in risk of developing PD.

Low concentrations of urate in the blood is associated with an increased risk of PD.

Drug-induced parkinsonism

Different medical drugs have been implicated in cases of parkinsonism. Drug-induced parkinsonism is normally reversible by stopping the offending agent. Drugs include:

Early Detection Is Important

Some people never share with their doctor a subtle symptom, such as a periodic involuntary jerk of a finger, because it doesnt cross their minds as something worrisome.But Dr. Joseph advises not to wait until symptoms progress to get checked out. That finger jerk could progress into a full-blown tremor.Dr. Joseph, who was inspired to treat patients with Parkinsons when she saw a deep brain stimulation procedure stop a patients tremor in medical school, wants you to know that its normal to feel scared about having symptoms evaluated for a possible Parkinsons diagnosis.But she encourages you to be brave and get an exam for this important reason: People who start Parkinsons treatment earlier have less disability and longer lifespans!

Also Check: What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Parkinson’s Disease

Can A Stroke Cause Parkinson’s Disease

A stroke can cause some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but not Parkinson’s disease itself. This condition is called Parkinsonism. Parkinsonism is associated with many of the same movement problems of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors and stiffness. However, it usually does not worsen over time as Parkinson’s disease does. If a stroke causes brain damage in the area of the brain that is associated with Parkinson’s disease, then Parkinsonism can occur.

What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease

The Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

Most patients with Parkinsons disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable reducing symptoms during on periods and no longer controlling symptoms during off periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they cant. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.

Also Check: Which Is Worse Parkinson’s Or Parkinsonism

Other Typical Symptoms Of Parkinson’s

Tremor is an uncontrollable movement that affects a part of the body. A Parkinsons tremor typically starts in the hand before spreading to affect the rest of the arm, or down to the foot on the same side of the body.

There is no cure for a tremor, but there are ways to manage the symptom with support from a specialist or Parkinsons nurse.

Slowness of movement also known as bradykinesia may mean that it takes someone with Parkinson’s longer to do things. For example, they might struggle with coordination, walking may become more like a shuffle or walking speed may slow down.

Everyday tasks, such as paying for items at a check-out or walking to a bus stop, might take longer to do.

Parkinsons causes stiff muscles, inflexibility and cramps. This can make certain tasks such as writing, doing up buttons or tying shoe laces, hard to do. Rigidity can stop muscles from stretching and relaxing. It can be particularly noticeable, for example, if you struggle to turn over or get in and out of bed.

Symptoms and the rate at which they develop will vary from person to person. The most important thing to do if youre worried you have Parkinsons is to speak to your GP.

Common Parkinsons Early Symptoms

Early Symptoms of Parkinson to watch for:

  • Sometimes people have trouble getting out of a chair
  • You might just be tired and not feel well
  • You might just feel a little bit shaky
  • Some people find that their sense of smell is not as good

Are Tremors an Early Symptom of Parkinsons?

Tremors are usually only when you are quiet and not doing anything

  • Early tremors could just affect one of your fingers or you thumb
  • One typical Parkinsons tremor is called “pill-rolling” because it looks like the person is rolling something in their hand

Read Also: What Are The Early Signs Of Parkinson’s

Problems With Balance Or Walking

Bradykinesia can also contribute to increasing instability, walking difficulties and changes in gait. An early symptom of this is a decrease in the natural swing of one or both arms when walking. As things progress, the steps you take may become slower and smaller, and you may start shuffling your feet.

Some people with Parkinsons disease may also experience freezing episodes where it can feel like their feet are stuck in place, which can increase the risk of falling.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons Disease: Signs, Risks and Treatme

Parkinson’s disease occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, in an area of the brain that controls movement become impaired and/or die. Normally, these neurons produce an important brain chemical known as dopamine. When the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine, which causes the movement problems of Parkinson’s. Scientists still do not know what causes cells that produce dopamine to die.

People with Parkinson’s also lose the nerve endings that produce norepinephrine, the main chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls many functions of the body, such as heart rate and blood pressure. The loss of norepinephrine might help explain some of the non-movement features of Parkinson’s, such as fatigue, irregular blood pressure, decreased movement of food through the digestive tract, and sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or lying-down position.

Many brain cells of people with Parkinson’s contain Lewy bodies, unusual clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to better understand the normal and abnormal functions of alpha-synuclein and its relationship to genetic mutations that impact Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia.

Also Check: What Essential Oils Help Parkinson’s

Less Common Premotor Symptoms

The CARD symptoms are the most common early symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

However, some patients may have other early symptoms as well.

They are important to know. These symptoms may be dismissed as vague or strange at first.

5 less common pre-motor symptoms
  • Back pain with no apparent cause
  • Cramping of hands or feet
  • Fatigue
  • Subtle problems in using hands for fine jobs like typing or cooking
  • Acting Out What Youre Dreaming

    • People with REM sleep behavior disorder might talk in their sleep and flail their arms and legs during dreams, accidentally hitting or kicking a person in the same bed.

    When people learn about the sleep disorder, they often say, Ive been doing that for years. Theyre sometimes astonished to learn its an early symptom of Parkinsons, Dr. Joseph says.

    Also Check: What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Parkinson’s Disease

    What Is And Isn’t Parkinson’s Disease

    I am often asked if Parkinson’s Disease is a form of Alzheimers. Parkinson’s is not Alzheimers, ALS or a brain tumor, and the prognosis for Parkinson’s, though not a perfect scenario, leaves room to live a productive life.

    PD is a progressive and chronic neurological disease that often begins with mild symptoms that advance gradually over time. Symptoms can be so subtle in the early stages that they go unnoticed, leaving the disease undiagnosed for years. For patients with Parkinson’s, there is a reduction in the body chemical dopamine, which controls movement and mood so simple activities like walking, talking and writing can be impacted.

    Due to the complexity of PD, diagnosis is based on a variety of factors. The best diagnosis is made by an expert doing a careful history and exam followed by tracking responses to therapy. There is no blood or laboratory test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease.

    While Parkinson’s reaches all demographics, the majority of people with PD are age 60 or older. Men and people with a family history of the disease have an increased risk.

    The Most Important Thing

    Recognizing Early Signs of Parkinsons Disease

    The diagnosis of Parkinsons disease is often delayed.

    Unfortunately, people often neglect the early symptoms. It is not unusual for 5 years to go by before the patient is finally diagnosed with Parkinsons disease.

    In addition to symptoms, a doctors examination may uncover additional early signs of Parkinsons disease.

    Do not neglect these symptoms. Talk to your doctor early.

    Caution: This information is not a substitute for professional care. Do not change your medications/treatment without your doctor’s permission.

    Also Check: Parkinsons Disease Prognosis

    Low Blood Pressure/blood Pressure Fluctuations

    Often described as dysautonomia, this unsettling problem affects some people living with Parkinson’s disease. Dysautonomia causes fluctuations in blood pressure, predominantly causing unexpected and sudden episodes of low blood pressure.

    Symptoms include lightheadedness, dizziness, and loss of balance.

    Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited

    Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.

    There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

    Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.

    Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.

    Don’t Miss: Parkinsons Disease Heredity

    How Early Can Parkinson’s Disease Be Diagnosed

    A: A true determination of Parkinson’s disease is a clinical diagnosis, which means certain motor symptoms have to be present, but we now know more about some early signs of Parkinson’s disease that, while they don’t always lead to the condition, are connected.

    In terms of how early we can detect, we can detect a mutation that is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s as early as birth. In the minority of patients who may have a known Parkinson’s-related genetic mutation , that gene could be tested for at any time in life. At the same time, that’s not diagnosing Parkinson’s it’s just identifying the risk.

    Early warning signs are what we call prodromal, or preclinical, symptoms. Prodromal symptoms are an early warning sign that someone might get Parkinson’s disease. Though some of these symptoms have a very high probability of signaling future Parkinson’s, having one or more of them is still not a 100 percent probability. Some prodromal symptoms are loss of sense of smell, REM behavior disorder, anxiety or depression, and constipation.

    Parkinsons Disease: Symptoms Stages And Treatment

    Early Parkinsons : Diagnosing Parkinson

    Parkinson’s disease usually begins after age 60, gradually progressing over the years. Some people can have early-onset Parkinson’s disease, starting in their 30s or 40s. It is primarily a movement disorder characterized by resting tremors and slowness and stiffness of movement.

    In the late stages of the disease, Parkinson’s dementia can develop. But most people who have Parkinson’s disease do not develop dementia as a part of the condition.

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    What Are Parkinsons Early Symptomsis There A Natural Cure For Parkinsons

    Parkinsons early symptoms usually start on one side of the body and only later do you get them on both sides.

    Now here’s the tricky part:

    Parkinsons early symptoms are very subtle and are usually ignored. Stiffness and slowing down are seen as normal signs of aging, or to be caused by something else.

    • For example, when my friend first got signs of Parkinson disease, she thought nothing of it.
    • Her lower back was sore, and she began to fall occasionally, but she figured it was due to an old injury.
    • She did not recognize loss of balance and coordination as one of Parkinsons early symptoms.

    No one wants to face getting a diagnosis. But the chances of using a natural cure for Parkinsons that works, are better earlier, before starting Parkinson Disease medication.

    Here’s the problem with Parkinson causes:

      So if you even think you might have early symptoms of Parkinson, you will want to know about new discoveries for protecting your brain from further damage!

      Yes, there are things you can do to slow Parkinson’s disease symptoms, and for some people they can be like a Parkinson cure.

      • Many are successfully putting off using Parkinsons meds with new discoveries of new brain health supplements.
      • Others are using these supplements alongside their meds and getting the use of their hands back.

      What To Look For For Parkinsons Early Symptoms

      People will begin to get a slight tremor or stiffness in an arm or leg on one side of the body, especially when they are not doing anything.

      You will want to notice if this tremor gets worse when you are under stress, or if it gets better when you move the arm or when you sleep.

      Early symptoms of Parkinson are easy to brush aside. This disease tends to develop slowly and and the early signs may last a long time before you get actual Parkinsons symptoms.

      • “I’m getting older” is a typical way of not recognizing an early symptom of Parkinsons.
      • People tend not to see their doctor until they get actual Parkinsons tremors.
      • Why look into Parkinson causes early so you can help prevent or stop Parkinson disease symptoms from developing?

      The less you depend on the Parkinsons medication, the better off you will be in the longer run. Why?

      • Parkinson Disease medication has a “wearing off” effect.
      • Eventually the Parkinson treatment meds stop working, so it’s best to act early!
      • That is where alternative medicine for Parkinsons disease comes in — to slow down the process, and even for some a Parkinson cure.

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      Signs Of Early Stage Parkinsons In Seniors

      By Lutgarda Mariano 9 am on April 19, 2019

      When Parkinsons disease is diagnosed and treated early, its progression may be slowed. Parkinsons is a neurological disorder that causes several noticeable symptoms. However, in the early stages, symptoms may be very subtle. Here are five warning signs of Parkinsons disease in older adults.

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