Parkinson's Disease Signs & Symptoms

By Constance Lang

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder that effects the central nervous system and is the result of a lack of the chemical messenger, dopamine, in the brain. This occurs researchers are not clear about what causes the changes in the cells that produce dopamine. More than 1.5 million people in the United States are effected by symptoms of the disease. There is no known cure, however, some medications may help alleviate some of the symptoms.

Speech Changes

Parkinson's Disease often causes speech disturbances such as monotone voice, slurring words, less voice control, and hesitation before speaking.

Rigid Muscles

Muscle rigidity typically occurs in the neck, arms and legs. The severity differs and may cause difficulty moving, limit your range of motion and may cause pain.


Bradykinesia is the slowing of voluntary movements. It may take longer to initiate movements like walking and doing everyday tasks. Once you begin moving, tasks may take longer to complete as your body will move slower over all.

Automatic Movement Loss

Some people with Parkinson's Disease lose the ability to blink automatically and may seem to have a blank stare. Normal motions such as swinging your arms when you walk will disappear. Your body movements will become less animated.


Many people who have Parkinson's Disease do not experience a significant tremor, however those who do, often have shaky hands or rub fore finger and thumb together, a movement known as 'pin rolling'.

Impaired Posture

In the later stages of Parkinson's Disease, you may experience a stooped posture and have difficulties with your balance.


In the later stages of Parkinson's Disease, memory recall and clarity may become an issue.

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