Parkinson’s disease affects everyone differently, so the specific symptoms a person experiences can vary. However, there are some common symptoms that can be categorized into two main groups: motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms.

Motor Symptoms:

These are the most well-known symptoms of Parkinson’s and relate to difficulties with movement. They can develop gradually and worsen over time. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Tremor: This is a shaking that usually occurs when a limb is at rest. It’s often the most noticeable symptom, but not everyone with Parkinson’s experiences tremors.
  • Bradykinesia: This refers to slowness of movement. Activities that were once easy, like buttoning a shirt or writing, may take much longer. Movements may also appear small or stiff.
  • Rigidity: Muscle stiffness can occur in any part of the body, making it difficult to move freely and affecting balance and coordination.
  • Postural instability: Problems with balance and coordination can increase the risk of falls. People with Parkinson’s may walk with a stoop or have difficulty starting or stopping movement.

Non-Motor Symptoms:

These symptoms don’t directly relate to movement but can still significantly impact a person’s well-being. They can sometimes even appear before the motor symptoms. Here are some of the common non-motor symptoms:

  • Cognitive changes: Some people with Parkinson’s experience mild thinking problems or memory difficulties. In some cases, dementia can develop in later stages.
  • Sleep problems: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or restless sleep are common.
  • Fatigue: People with Parkinson’s often experience excessive daytime sleepiness or tiredness.
  • Mood swings: Depression, anxiety, and apathy are all possible.
  • Pain: Muscle stiffness and cramps can cause pain.
  • Bowel problems: Constipation is a frequent issue.
  • Loss of sense of smell: This can be an early sign of Parkinson’s, although it’s not specific to the disease.
  • Urinary problems: Difficulty controlling urination can occur.

If you’re concerned that you or someone you know may have Parkinson’s, it’s important to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Early diagnosis and intervention can be crucial in managing symptoms and maintaining a good quality of life.


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