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Conditions

Symptoms

  • Bradykinesia (slowed movement) — The exact reason for this slowing of movement is not known, but it may be the result of a deficit in the function of the basal ganglia area of the brain. Sufferers may experience challenges with walking, getting out of a chair or other issues.
  • Changes in speech and voice — Bradykinesia may cause the voice to become softer or fade. Tone may also change, pace of speech may increase and stuttering may occur.
  • Cognitive decline and dementia — Chemical and structural changes are the most likely reasons for cognitive decline. As a result of changes in chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, an individual with PD may experience challenges with attention, executive function and mood. Dementia may also develop during later stages of the disease.
  • Postural instability and changes in gait — The loss of postural reflexes may result in the loss of ability to steadily stand upright and maintain balance when walking. Steps may be smaller and become more of a shuffle.
  • Tremor — Involuntary contractions of antagonist muscles may cause involuntary rhythmic movements in the body. Tremor occurs in approximately 70 percent of Parkinson’s cases.

People with Parkinson’s may also experience other symptoms including constipation, drooling, insomnia, loss of sense of smell, low blood pressure, mood disorders and unexplained pain.