Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease may include physical or motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms.
The early physical or motor symptoms of PD include:
- stiffness (rigidity)
- slow or reduced movement size (bradykinesia/hypokinesia) e.g. slow walking, small writing or micrographia, masking of the face, soft voice
- tremor at rest
Motor symptoms start on one side of the body.
The early non-motor symptoms are varied and may include:
- loss of sense smell
- sleep disturbance (REM sleep behaviour disorder)
- mood disorders e.g. depression
- problems with memory, planning, etc
- bladder problems e.g. frequency, urgency, incontinence
Having some of the signs listed above does not mean the person has PD as they are very common with ageing, however if they have 2 or more, then they should consider discussing them with their doctor.
As PD progresses and there are fewer dopamine producing cells in the brain, motor and non-motor changes become more pronounced. Worsening symptoms cause greater disturbance to the person’s function making them increasingly dependent on others for their everyday activities. Motor symptoms by now affect both sides of the body.
The following are some of the more disruptive changes in mid to late PD.