WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE?

Parkinson’s patients experience a range of symptoms. Not all patients will experience every symptom, and the pace at which the disease progresses can vary on an individual basis. In addition to these symptoms, treatments can bring on side effects that patients should be aware of and discuss with their doctor.

Movement/motor-related Symptoms

  • Bradykinesia – slowing down and loss of spontaneous and voluntary movement
  • Rigidity – unusual stiffness in a limb or other body part
  • Resting tremor – an uncontrollable movement that affects a limb when it is at rest and usually stops for the duration of a voluntary movement
  • Postural instability – problems with standing or walking, or impaired balance and coordination, which can lead to falls
  • Dystonia – involuntary movement with a muscle contraction, such as a cramp
  • Reduced facial expression – “mask-like” face due to bradykinesia
  • Speech and swallowing problems

Non-movement/non-motor-related Symptoms

  • Cognitive impairment – decline in ability to multi-task and/or concentrate; potential decline in intellectual functioning and onset of psychosis
  • Mood changes – can include depression, apathy or anxiety
  • Sleep disorders – for example, REM sleep behavior disorder, where individuals act out their dreams
  • Hyposmia – loss of sense of smell
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Bladder Problems – a sudden need to urinate or incontinence
  • Orthostatic hypotension – low blood pressure upon standing
  • Pain – central pain other than pain caused by posture problems or dystonia

Other treatment-related symptoms

  • Dyskinesia – involuntary, twisting/turning, jerky movements that can result from long-term use of medications that treat Parkinson’s disease
  • Impulse Control – inability to resist an impulse that is harmful to self or others that can result from use of medications that treat Parkinson’s disease
Learn about the stages and progression of Parkinson’s disease
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