Signs and Symptoms
Tremor: Can Occur at Rest, in the Hands, Limbs, or can be Postural
Muscular: Stiff Muscles, Difficulty Standing, Difficulty Walking, Difficulty with Bodily Movements, Involuntary Movements, Muscle Rigidity, Problems with Coordination, Rhythmic Muscle Contractions, Slow Bodily Movement, or Slow Shuffling Gait
Sleep: Daytime Sleepiness, Early Awakening, Nightmares, or Restless Sleep
Whole body: Fatigue, Dizziness, Poor Balance, or Restlessness
Cognitive: Amnesia, Confusion in the Evening Hours, Dementia, or Difficulty Thinking and Understanding
Speech: Impaired Voice, Soft Speech, or Voice Box Spasms
Mood: Anxiety or Apathy
Nasal: Distorted Sense of Smell or Loss of Smell
Urinary: Dribbling of Urine or Leaking of Urine
Facial: Jaw Stiffness or Reduced Facial Expression
Also Common: Blank Stare, Constipation, Depression, Difficulty Swallowing, Drooling, Falling, Fear of Falling, Loss in Contrast Sensitivity, Neck Tightness, Small Handwriting, Trembling, Unintentional Writhing, or Weight Loss
A progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Cause of Parkinson's
Parkinson's disease to be a disorder of the central nervous system that results from the loss of cells in various parts of the brain, including a region called the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra cells produce dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain that allow for coordination of movement. Loss of dopamine causes neurons to fire without normal control, leaving patients less able to direct or control their movement. Parkinson's disease is one of several diseases categorized by clinicians as movement disorders.
The exact cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown, although research points to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Researchers have identified a number of rare instances where Parkinson's disease appears to be caused by a single genetic mutation. In these cases, the mutated gene is passed from generation to generation, resulting in a great number of Parkinson's disease cases within an extended family.