Do you know the signs of Parkinson's disease? You need to–we all need to, and we must spread the word–so that people in every community are diagnosed earlier and receive the best treatment. Only then will outcomes improve for all Parkinson's patients.
Here are the 10 early warning signs of Parkinson's disease:
- Tremor or shaking
- Small handwriting
- Loss of the sense of smell
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty moving or walking
- A soft or low voice
- A masked face (reduced facial expression)
- Dizziness or fainting
- Stooping or hunching over
By themselves, these symptoms could mean many things, or nothing at all. If you have several, however, talk to your doctor about the possibility of Parkinson's disease.
It is possible to live a full life with Parkinson's. But first you have to know about it. The public struggles of celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali have helped bring attention to the disease. The following organizations have lots of additional information. Or you can call Yuliis Bell, outreach coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania center, at 215-829-5078.
Christina Robertson, PhD, is a research advocate and care-partner to someone with Parkinson's. Jacqueline Rick, PhD, is research project manager at the University of Pennsylvania's Udall Center for Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research.