Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that primarily affects bodily movement. It develops because of the impairment or death of certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. The loss of these neurons causes dopamine levels to drop. As an important chemical messenger of the brain, lower dopamine levels leads to abnormal brain activity, which in turn affects control of muscle movement.
Parkinson’s is mostly diagnosed in older individuals, and it is very important to be watchful of the early signs, since the disorder progresses with time. Here are some of the signs and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease; individuals over age 50 who exhibit them in particular should receive medical attention as soon as possible.
One of the earliest and most widely occurring symptoms across all patients suffering from Parkinson’s is resting tremors. The typical modality of presentation in the early stages is the trembling or shaking of one finger. The movement may also be witnessed in the hand or foot on one side of the body or, in rare cases, in the face or jaw. The tremors mostly begin when the affected body part is relaxed, which is why the Parkinson’s tremor is called a “resting tremor.” It is noteworthy that not all kinds of tremors are symptomatic of Parkinson’s, and thus one must be very specific in relaying the nature of the trembling to a physician in order to prevent misdiagnosis.