main of How Can I Tell If A Loved One Might Have Parkinson's Disease?

How Can I Tell If A Loved One Might Have Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a diagnosis that no one wants to be given. People with Parkinson’s struggle with their nervous system, and eventually with all forms of movement. Since it’s such a troubling disease, it’s important for it to be noticed early to allow for potentially life improving treatment. There’s one problem however. The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. This means there’s no real extra risk factors that might hint at a cause. People have to be extra vigilant when you’re around friends and family. It helps if you’ve answered the question: How can I tell if a loved one might have Parkinson’s disease? 

Answer: The signs of Parkinson’s disease are subtle at first, but they are there

Catching the signs of Parkinson’s disease is difficult, so whether you’re looking at your friends, family, or yourself, spotting them can be difficult at first. Part of this is due to severity. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease tend to start off very gently and can easily be missed. The other issues that symptoms can be widely varied. What you might see in one person with Parkinson’s disease might be completely opposite of another person. 

One sign to look out for includes tremors. People may have an unexpected shaking in a limb, extending down to their hands and fingers. This is most obvious in someone when the hand is otherwise at rest. Muscle stiffness is another very common sign to look out for. This may occur anywhere on a person’s body and might cause a person to lose some of their range of motion. In turn, this may decrease other unconscious movements. Things like blinking, smiles and moving your arms naturally as you move your body is often affected. That movement might also slow down quite a bit. This is known as bradykinesia. The gradual slowing down of a person’s muscles and movements can really slow down life and the actions performed within it. It’s also possible for people to find their balance and posture is not what it once was. Falling may be more common, as is stooping. Since the changes are gradual, people may never quite realize they are happening, so attention needs to be paid. 

Often, the first symptom that some people may see can be a change in the way that a person speaks or writes. Writing often becomes smaller, but with more variation due to slight tremors. Speech changes can result in sounds becoming slurred, or more monotonous. 

One thing to consider when looking for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is the location they occur. For most people, this means that symptoms are going to start on one side of the body. From there, it’s possible for the symptoms to expand to both sides, but the initial side that symptoms showed will always be stronger. 

Additional Resources

It’s good to be armed with as much information as possible when it comes to Parkinson’s disease. That way it’s possible to potentially spot the signs early. These additional resources should help in that goal. 

  1. - This website features all kinds of information for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease as well as those who are trying to help friends or family. This article focuses on early signs to try to help people spot Parkinson’s disease early. 
  2. Johns Hopkins - This well known medical institution also has this website that provides information easily. This article focuses on methods to feel better in your day to day life for people who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease. 
  3. Michael J - Michael J. Fox is one of the most famous sufferers of Parkinson’s disease and his done an incredible job of bringing information about it to the masses. This article focuses on the symptoms that Parkinson’s disease causes.

Questions to Consider