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Parkinson's symptoms at a glance


The symptoms of Parkinson's disease vary in different people. Some are difficult to spot, even for doctors. Others are obvious to the untrained eye. If you think you have Parkinson's symptoms, see a neurologist.

Motor symptoms

People are usually more familiar with the motor (movement) symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). These signs are recognizable from the outside and are used by doctors for diagnosis. The three "cardinal" motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:

  • stiffness (Rigor): muscle stiffness determined by a doctor on examination
  • slowness (Bradykinesia): decrease in spontaneous and voluntary movement; may include slowing walking, less arm swinging while walking, or decreased blinking or staring expressions
  • Tremble in peace: a rhythmic, involuntary tremor that occurs in a finger, hand, or limb when relaxed and disappears during voluntary movement

Not everyone with Parkinson's has all three motor symptoms, but the slowness is always there. And although tremor is the most common symptom when diagnosed, has not everyone with Parkinson's tremors.

Other motor symptoms - Walking problems or difficulties with balance and coordination  (Postural instability) - can also occur. These can occur at any time during Parkinson's disease, but are more likely as the disease progresses.

Non-motor symptoms

Non-motor symptoms are sometimes called  called “invisible” symptoms of Parkinson’s,  since you can't see them from the outside. These common symptoms can affect almost any body system, occur at any time during the course of the disease (even before motor symptoms or diagnoses), and vary in severity from person to person. Non-motor symptoms can Quality of life of Parkinson's patients and their families. They can include:

Autonomic dysfunction

Parkinson's can affect the automatic / involuntary functions our bodies perform to keep us alive.

  • constipation: decreased or hard bowel movements
  • Low blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension): lowering blood pressure when changing position, e.g. B. when standing from sitting, which can lead to lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting
  • Sexual problems: erectile dysfunction in men; decreased libido or Pain in women
  • Urinary problems: Frequent urination, involuntary loss of urine (incontinence), or difficulty emptying the bladder (weak current)
  • Sweating: excessive sweating, regardless of temperature or anxiety

Mood swings and cognitive problems

Parkinson's disease can affect the way you think and feel.

  • apathy: lack of motivation and lack of interest in activities
  • Memory or thinking problems (cognitive problems): very different; range from multitasking and concentration difficulties that do not interfere with daily activities (mild cognitive impairment) to significant problems that affect a job, as well as daily and social activities (dementia).
  • Mood disorders: Depression (sadness, loss of energy, less interest in activities) and anxiety (uncontrollable worry)
  • psychosis: Seeing things that are not there (visual hallucinations) and having false, often paranoid beliefs (delusions), such as that a spouse is being unfaithful or that money is being stolen

Other physical changes

Parkinson's can cause other difficulties as well.

  • Drooling: Salivation through decreased swallowing
  • pain: Discomfort in one part of the body or throughout the body
  • Skin changes: oily or dry skin; increased risk of melanoma
  • Excessive sleepiness or tiredness during the day: feeling sleepy, sluggish, or exhausted; can be symptoms on its own or result from Parkinson's medication
  • Loss of smell: Decreased ability to recognize smells 
  • Language problems: speaking in a low, monotonous voice and sometimes blurring or mumbling words
  • Swallowing problems: Swallowing, coughing and clearing the throat Essen and drink 
  • Changes in vision: dry eyes, double vision and reading problems
  • sleep disorders: Insomnia, restless legs syndrome (an uncomfortable feeling in the legs that goes away when you move), or REM sleep behavior disorder (living out dreams)
  • Weight changes: mild to moderate weight loss

Source: Michael J. Fox Foundation, translated from English by Jürgen Zender


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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous sagte:

    About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (Dr. Binder in Herbolzheim).
    I have problems walking. Stagger backwards and to the side.
    I play table tennis in Altdorf near Lahr (PPP Club Altdorf near Lahr), I am the manager
    Andrea Schmidt from Münchweier b. Lahr. I can only play singles TT, not doubles because of triple steps.
    I've fallen several times, have nothing, take it and have some spots on my body, which I fix with heparin ointment
    take away. Don't have one yet


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