Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can vary in intensity from one person to the next. You may experience a very mild tremor while someone else may develop symptoms that interfere with his or her ability to walk, talk or complete normal everyday tasks.
Initially the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are mild in everyone stricken with the disease. The first sign may be barely perceptible other than to know something doesn’t feel right. For instance, you may develop a small tremor in your little finger that comes and goes or is only noticeable at times of rest. Another way Parkinson’s disease may initially present is as a feeling that your one foot is stiff or feels as if you must drag it along.
There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease and the condition is progressive, which means that the symptoms will continue to get worse over time.
The most identifiable symptoms are:
- Tremors or shaking of the limbs. These tremors will occur during periods of rest and may completely disappear during times of activity. The tremors in your limbs may be intensified during times when you are feeling very tired or during periods of stress. A “pill-rolling” tremor is commonly reported. This is a type of tremor that presents as an involuntary rubbing together of the finger and thumb as if you were rolling a pill between your fingers.
- Experiencing difficulty with movements is another common symptoms associated with this condition. The unusual characteristic of this disease is that it will make it difficult to initiate activities. For instance, if you have Parkinson’s disease you may find it challenging to start walking or to get up out of a chair. Fine movements of your hands will also be affected and this may make it difficult to write or to use your fork and other utensils to eat a meal.
Other symptoms that are associate with Parkinson’s disease include:
- Stiff muscles especially in the legs
- Slowed movements
- A hunched or stooped posture
- Difficulty swallowing and possibly drooling
- Impaired balance which can make it difficult to walk
- Difficulty talking
- Mask-like appearance to the face or a lack of facial expressions
Due to the fact that there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, treatments are aimed at decreasing symptoms. There are a number of medications that may be prescribed to control symptoms. You will work closely with your doctor to determine which medication work best for your particular symptoms.
If medications are not successful or stop working over time, there is a surgical procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation that has been successful in controlling the symptoms of Parkinson’s in some cases. This procedure involves the implantation of electrodes into the brain to smooth muscle movements.