Parkinson’s Disease Latest Facts: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

Possible evolution and complications

The progression of Parkinson’s disease varies from person to person. Parkinson’s disease is chronic and develops slowly, meaning that symptoms worsen over the course of several years.

Motor symptoms vary from person to person, as does the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Some of these symptoms are more bothersome than others, depending on what a person normally does during the day.

Some people with PD live for many years with fewer disabling symptoms, while others develop motor difficulties more quickly.

Non-motor symptoms also vary from person to person and affect most people with PD, regardless of the stage of the disease. Some people with PD find that symptoms such as depression or fatigue interfere with their daily activities more than motor problems.

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Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by the following problems, which can be treated:

  • Difficulty in reasoning: The onset of cognitive problems usually occurs in the later stages of the disease. These cognitive problems do not respond very well to medication.
  • Mood disorders: People with PD may suffer from depression. With treatment for depression, it is easier to manage the other problems of Parkinson’s disease. Other disorders, such as anxiety or loss of motivation, may accompany depression.
  • Difficulty swallowing: The person has difficulty swallowing as his or her condition worsens. Slow swallowing can cause saliva to build up in the mouth.
  • Problems sleeping: People with Parkinson’s often have trouble sleeping. They often wake up at night, wake up early, or fall asleep during the day.
  • Incontinence: Parkinson’s disease can cause bladder weakness, resulting in an inability to control urine or difficulty urinating.
  • Constipation: Many people with Parkinson’s disease get constipated, mainly due to a slowed digestive tract.
  • Change in blood pressure: patients may experience dizziness, and lightheadedness (orthostatic hypotension).
  • Disturbances in the sense of smell: Difficulty recognizing or distinguishing specific odors.
  • Fatigue: Many patients feel tired, and the cause is not always known.
  • Pain: Many sufferers experience pain, either in specific areas of the body or throughout the body.
  • Sexual dysfunction: Some affected people report a decrease in sexual desire or performance.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Symptoms related to motor function often occur asymmetrically, meaning they initially affect only one side of the body and then spread to both sides of the body after a few years.

Most common symptoms:

In 70% of cases, the first symptom consists of an uncontrollable rhythmic tremor of one hand, followed by tremors of the head and legs, especially at rest or in stressful situations. On the other hand, 25% of patients do not suffer from tremors.

Tremors that occur during an action, such as lifting an object, are not a sign of PD.

  • The tremor decreases and stops when the person moves and when the person sleeps.
  • Rigid, slow (bradykinetic) limbs, rigid, sudden movements that are difficult to initiate. As the disease progresses, there may be difficulty performing everyday tasks, such as buttoning clothes, tying shoelaces, picking up coins, walking, standing, or getting out of a car.
  • Parkinsonian gait: small, shuffling steps, with dragging feet, with little or no arm swing.
  • Loss of smell, sleep disturbances, constipation, which may occur early in life.
  • Loss of balance, which may occur later in life.

Other symptoms, as applicable:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation with difficulty holding saliva (drooling).
  • Very tight handwriting (micrographia), due to loss of dexterity.
  • A cranky voice, with an inarticulate voice, lacking expression and difficult to articulate.
  • Lack of facial expression, with decrease or absence of blinking of the eyelids.
  • The presence of dandruff and greasy skin on the face.
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Confusion, memory loss, and other significant mental disturbances appear quite late in the course of the disease.
  • Difficulty to change positions; it may be difficult to get out of bed or out of a chair, for example. And in some cases, it becomes impossible to move.

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