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:
- Balance problems
- Nerve pain
- Anosmia (loss of smell)
- Urinary issues
- Erectile dysfunction (in men)
- Dizziness, blurred vision, or fainting when moving around
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:
- 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.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Are the Signs of PD in a Person Related Articles
Balance SlideshowWhat is vertigo? What causes dizziness? Understand different balance disorders and symptoms such as vertigo, motion sickness, nausea, and more.
carbidopa/levodopa/entacapone - oral, Stalevo
How Do You Get Parkinson's Disease?Parkinson's disease results from a lack of dopamine production in the brain, affecting a person's physical and mental abilities. Learn what the causes and symptoms are of Parkinson's and how to best treat it.
carbidopa/levodopa - oral, Atamet, Sinemet
levodopa-carbidopa, Sinemet, Sinemet CR, Parcopa
Levodopa-carbidopa (Sinemet, Sinemet CR, Parcopa) is a combination medication of levodopa and carbidopa prescribed for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Side effects, dosage, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
What Causes Motor Fluctuations in Parkinson’s Disease?Motor fluctuations in Parkinson’s disease are caused by drops in dopamine brain levels since your nerve cells can no longer make enough of the chemical.
Nerve Pain SlideshowLearn about nerve pain symptoms, causes, and treatment options. Discover medications and natural remedies to relieve nerve pain.
Parkinson's DiseaseParkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest, slowing of voluntary movements, a gait with short accelerating steps, peculiar posture and muscle weakness, caused by degeneration of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, and by low production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most patients are over 50, but at least 10 percent are under 40.
Parkinson's Disease: Eating RightEating a well-balanced and nutritional diet is very beneficial to people with Parkinson's disease. With a proper diet, our bodies work more efficiently and it is especially helpful because Parkinson's disease medications will work properly.
Parkinson's SlideshowDiscover the symptoms, causes, stages, and treatment options for Parkinson's disease. Learn more about the stages of Parkinson's disease such as tremors and loss of muscle control.
Parkinson's QuizParkinson's disease is common among neurodegenerative disorders. Do you know how it works? The causes? The symptoms? Take the Parkinson’s Disease Quiz to Test your knowledge of Parkinson's.
What Are the 5 Stages of Parkinson’s Disease?Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects movement. Learn about symptoms in each of the 5 stages.