What Are the Signs of PD in a Person? Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

Medically Reviewed on 12/7/2021
What Are the Signs of PD in a Person
Signs of Parkinson's disease (PD) include tremors, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness, balance problems, and nerve pain

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that causes problems with movement and tremors. Symptoms of PD develop gradually and are mild at first.

Signs of PD include:

  • Tremors: Typically starts in the hand or arm and is most prominent when the limb is loose and resting
  • Bradykinesia (slowness of movement): Physical movements are much slower, which can make regular everyday tasks difficult
  • Muscle stiffness: Firmness and tension in the muscles, which can make it hard to move around

Other symptoms include:

What causes Parkinson’s disease?

PD is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra region of the brain which are responsible for creating dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that allows communication between parts of the brain and nervous system that control and coordinate body movements. Loss of nerve cells leads to a drop in dopamine, resulting in slow or abnormal body movements.

Although the cause of nerve cell death is unknown, factors that may play a role include:

  • Genes: Genetic mutations have been discovered to be linked to PD.
  • Ecological triggers: Exposure to environmental toxins may increase the risk of PD.
  • Presence of Lewy bodies: Clusters of substances inside the brain cells called Lewy bodies may be microscopic markers of PD.

How is PD diagnosed?

There are no specific lab tests to diagnose Parkinson's disease. Your neurologist will analyze your clinical history, symptoms, and order tests to rule out other disorders and determine what is causing your symptoms:

What is the treatment for PD?

Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson's disease. However, therapies and medications may help relieve symptoms:

  • Therapies:
    • Physiotherapy: Helps reduce muscle stiffness and joint pain through controlled movement and exercise.
    • Speech therapy: Helps improve speech and swallowing issues.
    • Diet guidance: Dietary changes may help reduce certain symptoms
  • Medications:
    • Carbidopa-levodopa: Levodopa is used by the brain to make dopamine.
    • Dopamine agonists: Dopamine agonists mimic dopamine effects in the brain.
    • Monoamine oxidase B (MAO B) inhibitors: These repress an enzyme called MAO B, which is responsible for breaking down dopamine in the brain.

QUESTION

Parkinson's disease is only seen in people of advanced age. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 12/7/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1831191-overview

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00218-X/fulltext