What is Parkinson’s disease?

What is Parkinson’s disease? Parkinson’s disease affects certain nerve cells in the brain – specifically those that monitor a chemical called dopamine, which controls movement. When cells break down and those living with Parkinson’s disease are no longer receiving an adequate level of dopamine, they can find it difficult to move as much as they would wish to.

According to Parkinsons.org.uk, it’s thought that one in every 500 people in the UK has Parkinson’s. That equates to approximately 127,000 individuals, many of them over the age of 50, who require specialist care and support because of various mobility problems caused by the onset of the disease.

Some research has concluded that Parkinson’s is inherited to a degree, but it can also develop in those who have no family history of the condition. Read more to find out some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

What are the signs of Parkinson’s disease?

Caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease can be difficult, so it’s important to be able to spot the signs. We’ve compiled some of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as how they can affect a person’s body.

Tremor – Involuntary shaking, often experienced in the hands, is the most common identifier of Parkinson’s disease. Resting tremors are very typical of Parkinson’s – these occur when the body is relaxed.

Stiff muscles – As well as making it difficult to move fluidly, rigidity and inflexibility in the muscles can also lead to pain and cramps for those living with Parkinson’s disease.

Slow movement – Those with Parkinson’s will often experience bradykinesia. They may only be able to walk by taking short, shuffling steps and may find that it takes them longer to do things than before.

Problems with balance, mobility and walking Those living with Parkinson’s disease are often unsteady on their feet. This can sometimes lead to accidents or injury through falling.

Other signs of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Loss of smell
  • Health issues with the eyes and bladder
  • Problems with communication and speech
  • Difficulty swallowing and chewing
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness (making them more prone to falls)
  • Fatigue

Individuals can also experience non-motor related symptoms such as pain, anxiety, depression, and in some cases, hallucinations and delusions.

Are you looking for Parkinson’s disease home care for a loved one? Call our friendly team on 0808 278 5702 today to discuss your requirements or to arrange an assessment.