Monday, April 22, 2013

Parkinson's Disease: What Are the Symptoms?

By Joanne Pizzuto
Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that interferes with the brain's ability to control the body. Simply speaking, the neurons in the brain die for as of yet unknown causes. When this happens, they release dopamine. This surge in dopamine interferes with the remaining neurons' ability to manage the movement of the body.[1] As such, the symptoms that individuals experience with regard to this condition are often related to motor function. This April, which is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month, the elder care professionals at Always Best Care of Alamance, serving Alamance and Guilford Counties, as well as the communities of Burlington, Southern Greensboro, Jamestown, High Point, and Roxboro, encourage you to learn more about this disease. Here, they share the symptoms that frequently accompany Parkinson's disease.

The Personal Nature of Parkinson's
While the cause of the symptoms that individuals with Parkinson's disease experience is the same across all cases, the actual symptoms that emerge are not. In fact, this condition can create completely different experiences from one individual to the next. For this reason, it is important to remember that not all seniors who suffer from this disease will have the same symptoms. 

Primary Motor Symptoms[2]
Resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability are the four primary motor symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease.  While every individual who has this condition will not suffer from all four of these hallmark symptoms, most will experience at least one of them. Resting tremor is seen in approximately 70 percent of Parkinson's disease cases and causes shaking in the face, jaw, foot, or hand. Bradykinesia takes place when individuals have a difficult time moving quickly. Rigidity restricts movement altogether, most frequently in the core and the limbs. Finally, postural instability is one of the most common symptoms. This causes individuals to have difficulty finding stability when they are standing.

Additional Symptoms[3]
While the primary motor symptoms are the most common, there are numerous other signs of Parkinson's disease. Some of these include:

  • Freezing gait
  • Micrographia
  • Mask-like expression
  • Unwanted accelerations
  • Stooped posture
  • Dystonia
  • Akathisia
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Speech impairment

The home care professionals at Always Best Care of Alamance ( understand that Parkinson's disease creates a different experience for each individual it impacts. By learning the symptoms of this condition, you can take better care of your elderly loved one. The senior care providers encourage you to share this information with others in observance of Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month.

The Home Care professionals at Always Best Care know that taking care of an elderly loved one  is emotionally difficult. But with these tips, you can help your family better understand the illness and get the most out of the time they have with their loved one.

Our Resources page may also provide needed information.

We at Always Best Care are attuned to your needs and equipped with the knowledge and experience to  make the transition to elderly care easier on you.  It is not an easy decision to make, so we have put together an E-booklet filled with tips, advice, and general information so that you are well informed.  If you decide to contact us to assist you care for your senior, we will discuss your needs and capabilities so that the change in their life is handled delicately.  Joanne Pizutto, the owner of Always Best Care, awaits your phone call or email, whether it is today or farther down the road.

Call today (336) 512-6744


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