Parkinson’s symptoms: How your signature can be an early warning si…

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Parkinson’s has many different symptoms, and the rate at which Parkinson’s develops is different for everyone. If you notice any of the early signs of Parkinson’s, you should speak to your doctor who will be able to assess you and possibly diagnose you. But what are the early symptoms of Parkinson’s to look out for?

Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world.

There are approximately 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK.

Parkinson’s UK estimates one in 37 people alive today will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime.

Parkinson’s is what’s known as a neurodegenerative disease: meaning it affects your brain and gets progressively worse over time.

Symptoms begin when the brain can’t make enough dopamine to control movement properly.

READ MORE: Dementia: The ‘first’ symptom of dementia may not be memory loss

However, research suggests that the onset of Parkinson’s can come before there are any obvious symptoms – and, don’t forget, not all symptoms are obvious.

What are some of the early symptoms of Parkinson’s?

Your signature changes

Do you know the sign to look out for in your handwriting?

Because Parkinson’s can affect the control you have over your movements, you might notice your movements becoming smaller and less pronounced.

This means your handwriting can shrink. This might be hard to notice on an everyday basis, but your signature is a useful comparison to track the size of your handwriting over time.

You lose your sense of smell

Losing your sense of smell, or it becoming weaker than it was before, is a sometimes overlooked sign of Parkinson’s.

This can even take place years before other symptoms become obvious.

Depression

One of the so-called ‘invisible symptoms’ of Parkinson’s is changes to your mood.

Along with cognitive changes such as difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness, any changes in mood or brain function should be cause for a chat with your doctor.

Changes to your bathroom habits

Constipation can be a symptom of Parkinson’s but equally, needing to go to the toilet more often, or having a weak flow while urinating can also be symptoms.

Developing a tremor

Perhaps the best-known early sign of Parkinson’s, a tremor is an uncontrollable movement.

It can start in your hand or foot, before spreading further in the body. However, a Parkinson’s specialist can help you to manage this symptom.

Stiffness

Stiffness and cramps as a result of muscles failing to stretch and relax can be a symptom of Parkinson’s. Experiencing lots of stiffness, or noticing that you are less flexible or dexterous, could be signs of Parkinson’s.

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