FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2022 -- Parkinson’s disease can be hard for the average person to identify, but 10 warning signs may offer an early clue that you or a loved one may be developing the disease.
Tremor — such as in a finger, thumb, hand or chin — can suggest Parkinson’s, though it can also be a side effect of stress, injury, medication or a lot of exercise.
Parkinson’s can also cause a change in handwriting known as micrographia, where letter sizes become smaller and words more crowded.
People with Parkinson’s can also thrash around in sleep, something a spouse may notice.
Sense of smell may diminish with foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice. Of course, viruses, including cold, flu and COVID-19 can also affect sense of smell.
Another possible sign of Parkinson’s is stiffness in the body, arms and legs. A person’s arms may no longer swing in a typical fashion or feet may feel like they’re “stuck to the floor.” Some other health conditions, such as arthritis, can also cause stiffness.
A change in voice may signal Parkinson’s. It may become softer, breathy or hoarse.
Another sign is “facial masking,” in which a person’s face looks serious, depressed or mad but doesn’t match their mood. But some medicines can also cause a person to have a serious look or stare.
Constipation, dizziness or fainting, and stooping or hunching when a person is standing are three additional signs of Parkinson’s disease.
If you have more than one of these symptoms, the Parkinson’s Foundation suggests talking with a doctor about the possibility of Parkinson’s disease.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more on Parkinson’s disease.
SOURCE: Parkinson’s Foundation, news release, August 2022