Parkinson’s Disease: 14 Early Warning Signs of Onset

June 4, 2013
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parkinson's diseaseParkinson’s Disease is most common among older adults and affects nearly 2% of the aging population. One’s risk of developing Parkinson’s increases with age, with the average age of onset being 65 years old.

parkinson's diseaseParkinson’s Disease is most common among older adults and affects nearly 2% of the aging population. One’s risk of developing Parkinson’s increases with age, with the average age of onset being 65 years old.

No matter what your age, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is life changing. Because the disease progresses slowly, many people fail to notice or seek medical attention for their symptoms. In fact, a survey by the National Parkinson Foundation found that people will avoid seeing a physician to discuss Parkinson’s even if they are exhibiting cardinal symptoms, such a tremor.

Early detection, however, is the key to successful treatment and disease management. By addressing troublesome symptoms early on, people can secure the best chance at a longer, healthier life.

Here are 14 warning signs of Parkinson’s Disease onset you need to know: 

  1. Resting tremor, twitching or shaking of the limbs
  2. Trouble sleeping; thrashing, punching or kicking during sleep
  3. Loss of smell or Anosmia
  4. Small, crowded handwriting
  5. Stiffness
  6. Constipation
  7. A soft voice
  8. Stooping or hunching over
  9. Change in facial expressions; “Masked face”
  10. “Frozen”, painful shoulder
  11. Depression and anxiety
  12. Limping or dragging one foot
  13. An internal sensation of trembling
  14. Slurred speech
  15. Dizziness or fainting upon standing

If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, do not panic and speak to your physician. Keep in mind that PD develops differently from person to person, so these signs are not definitive of a diagnosis.  A neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s Disease can evaluate you and your symptoms.