Parkinson's disease is a medical condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over a long time.
Three main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:
involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body
stiff and inflexible muscles
Parkinson's disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain. There is no cure for Parkinson's, but treatments are available to help reduce symptoms of the disease and maintain quality of life for longer.
Here are a few signs to pick up on if you are thinking a person close to you may have symptoms of Parkinson’s:
If the person is twitching or shaking more than regularly, this can be a key sign. This can be anywhere from their face, their hands, and their legs.
The way in which they write can change. This could be a noticeable change: a smaller size, hard to read or grouping words together.
If they complain about feeling stiff or if they have difficult moving certain parts of their body.
If they say they cannot smell particular foods. This could mean they are unable to smell bananas or liquorice.
You may have brought up that they look mad or sad, but actually they are not at all. If you notice a blank expression on their face regularly or they're not blinking often, it could be a sign of early Parkinson's.
They may have difficulty sleeping, they may have violent outbursts in the night or fall out of bed whilst still asleep.
If they are constantly having problems with constipation.
If they are often feeling dizzy or likely to faint, this can be a sign of low blood pressure.
If they are slouching or leaning over when they stand, this could be a sign to look out for.
If their voice is sounding quieter or lower than usual this is a sign to pick up on.
These are all signs to look out for, if these signs start occurring and becoming more regular, it is important to go and visit your GP.
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