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.
  • Constipation.

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.

Think you might have Parkinson's disease?

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Think you might have Parkinson's disease?