Early Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
By Patrick McNamara, Ph.D. — From about.com January 27, 2011 826 1
If you are wondering if you or a loved may have Parkinson’s disease (PD), here are some signs that doctors look for in the early stages:
Symptoms That Usually Start on One Side of the Body
The following symptoms typically appear on only one side of the body in early PD. Later, they appear on both sides, but at the beginning of the disorder the signs are unilateral — meaning one-sided.
• Resting Tremor
Resting Tremor is a slight shakiness in the hand when the hand is at rest. The shakiness or trembling goes away when you move the hand to do something. For example, the shakiness stops when you pick up a book or a cup and so forth. The tremor may extend to the leg or foot on the same side and sometime to the lips and jaw. You might even feel an internal tremor as if the trembling is deep within your body.
Rigidity, or muscle stiffness typically occurs in the limbs but full body rigidity is possible as well. Cog-wheel rigidity refers to a body motion (typically the arm) that resembles cogs in a wheel — it's very jerky and similar to a spring-like action. The stiffness can affect all kinds of daily activities like buttoning up a shirt or turning over in bed.