What is it?
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years. It is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement, often including tremors. This disorder is chronic and worsens over time.
What are the symptoms?
The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body at rest (tremor).
- Slow movement.
- Stiff arms, legs, trunk and inflexible muscles.
A person with Parkinson’s disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms, including:
- Depression and anxiety.
- Problems with balance and tendency to fall.
- Decreased ability to smell (anosmia).
- Problems sleeping (insomnia).
- Blank facial expression.
- A tendency to get stuck when walking.
- Small, cramped handwriting.
- Muffled, low-volume speech.
- Decreased blinking and swallowing.
- Tendency to fall backwards.
- Reduced arm swinging when walking.
- Memory problems.
What to expect?
If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you can try the following things in addition to treatment by your doctor:
- Try to stay as active as possible. If needed, discuss with you doctor whether a physiotherapist can help you with this.
- Try to maintain a normal day/night rhythm. Avoid sleeping during the day as much as possible.
- Some people with Parkinson’s disease have obstipation. Drinking lots of fluids and eating adequate amounts of fibre in your diet may help reduce this.