Parkinson’s Disease (E)

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous systemthat mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shakingrigidityslowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementiabecomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. The main motor symptoms are collectively called "parkinsonism", or a "parkinsonian syndrome."

Parkinson's disease Symptoms

Requires a medical diagnosis
Parkinson's often starts with a tremor in one hand. Other symptoms are slow movement, stiffness, and loss of balance.
People may experience:
Tremor: can occur at rest, in the hands, limbs, or can be postural
Muscular: stiff muscles, difficulty standing, difficulty walking, difficulty with bodily movements, involuntary movements, muscle rigidity, problems with coordination, rhythmic muscle contractions, slow bodily movement, or slow shuffling gait
Sleep: daytime sleepiness, early awakening, nightmares, or restless sleep
Whole body: fatigue, dizziness, poor balance, or restlessness
Cognitive: amnesia, confusion in the evening hours, dementia, or difficulty thinking and understanding
Speech: impaired voice, soft speech, or voice box spasms
Mood: anxiety or apathy
Nasal: distorted sense of smell or loss of smell
Urinary: dribbling of urine or leaking of urine
Facial: jaw stiffness or reduced facial expression
Also common: blank stare, constipation, depression, difficulty swallowing, drooling, falling, fear of falling, loss in contrast sensitivity, neck tightness, small handwriting, trembling, unintentional writhing, or weight loss
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The Stages of Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease strikes people in many different ways, leaving them to experience a broad range of symptoms. Though symptoms may be mild or severe or occur frequently or infrequently, Parkinson's disease appears to have five different stages. The time spent at each stage varies, and the skipping of stages, from stage one to stage three, for example, is not uncommon.

Parkinson's disease stages include:

Stage one: During this initial phase of the disease, a person usually experiences mild symptoms, such as tremors or shaking in a limb. During this stage, friends and family can usually detect changes caused by Parkinson's, such as poor posture, loss of balance, and abnormal facial expressions.

Stage two: In the second stage of Parkinson's disease, the person's symptoms are bilateral, affecting both limbs and both sides of the body. The person usually encounters problems walking or maintaining balance, and the inability to complete normal physical tasks becomes more apparent.