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9 Facts About Parkinson’s Disease Everyone Should Know

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When you think of Parkinson’s disease you might remember notable celebrities who have suffered from it. Individuals such as Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali, and Linda Ronstadt are notable Parkinson’s sufferers. Maybe when you think of the disease, you reflect on someone you know. A loved one, such as a grandparent or friend. Or, if you are like some people when you think of Parkinson’s, you are left with more questions than answers about the disease itself. Let’s take a look at nine key facts to gain a deeper understanding of the disease.

 

1. It is more common than you might think

Although Parkinson’s disease does not always get a lot of media coverage, it affects many individuals. In fact, it is estimated that worldwide there are more than 10 million people living with Parkinson’s disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with it each year.

 

2. Symptoms are not always the same

Tremors, or involuntary shaking, are probably the most recognized symptom; however, Parkinson’s disease isn’t just marked by tremors and other outward symptoms. In fact, there are many symptoms associated with it, and they may vary between individuals. While some may have many symptoms, others show very few. Let’s review a few of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s.

  • Tremors: Slight shaking in the finger, hand, or chin is a very common sign of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Loss of the sense of smell: The inability to smell certain scents may be one of the earliest symptoms.
  • Small Handwriting: Some individuals have always written in tiny print. However, if an individual begins to write much smaller than previously, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. Specific changes might include words that are crowded together or letters which are written smaller than usual.
  • Trouble Sleeping: Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, but a sign of Parkinson’s disease includes involuntary movement during sleep. For example, moving around quickly or jerking of the limbs might be one of the signs.
  • Stiffness: It is common to feel stiff after sitting for long periods of time or when sore from exercise. However, this type of stiffness typically gets better after moving around a bit. With Parkinson’s, an individual may have stiffness in their limbs or find it more difficult to get around than it was previously.
  • Dizziness or Fainting: One symptom may be dizziness or fainting upon standing. This can be a sign of low blood pressure, which in turn can be related to Parkinson’s.

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