Parkinson's Awareness Month: Understanding the Early Signs and Symptoms
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Parkinson's Awareness Month: Understanding the Early Signs and Symptoms

April is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month, an important time to shed light on this progressive neurological disorder that affects movement and cognitive function. As a condition that impacts so many seniors, understanding its early signs and symptoms can make a significant difference in managing its progression and maintaining a good quality of life. Learn more about this condition, and don't forget to share this information with your loved ones!

Physical Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Here are some of the most common symptoms to consider:


When it comes to Parkinson's disease, understanding the physical symptoms is crucial to recognize the condition early. One of the most telltale signs is tremors, which can manifest as shaking in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head. These tremors often start on one side of the body and gradually progress to affect both sides. Alongside tremors, people with Parkinson's may also experience rigidity in their limbs and trunk, making movements more challenging and causing resistance.


Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement, is another common symptom of Parkinson's disease. This can decrease an individual's ability to initiate and control movements, leading to difficulties with everyday tasks like buttoning clothes or getting up from a chair. Additionally, those with Parkinson's may experience postural instability, characterized by impaired balance and coordination, resulting in an increased risk of falls.

Additional Indicators of Parkinson's

Recognizing the early warning signs of Parkinson's disease is vital in ensuring early detection and treatment. Apart from the physical symptoms mentioned above, there are several other indicators to be aware of. Tremors or shaking may be more noticeable when a person is at rest or experiencing stress, and it's crucial not to dismiss these signs as merely normal aging or other health conditions.

Slurred Speech

Changes in speech can be another early sign of Parkinson's disease. People may start speaking more softly, slur their words, speak too quickly, or hesitate before speaking. Do not overlook these changes, as they may indicate the onset of the condition. Similarly, changes in handwriting may signal Parkinson's disease, as writing can become smaller and more cramped, and controlling a pen or pencil may become increasingly difficult.

Loss of Smell and Other Warning Signs

Another early warning sign is the loss of smell, which can occur before other symptoms become apparent. This can often be mistaken for allergies or sinus problems, so it's crucial to consider Parkinson's disease as a potential cause. Sleep disturbances, such as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and acting out dreams, or moving excessively during sleep, can also indicate the early stages of the condition.

Resources for More Information on Parkinson's

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be experiencing early warning signs of Parkinson's disease, there are many resources available for more information and support. The National Parkinson's Foundation offers a wealth of resources, including a helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636). The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is another fantastic source of information, with a contact number of 1-800-708-7644. Additionally, local support groups and resources can be found through local hospitals, community centers, or online directories.

Senior Helpers San Diego Assists People Living with Parkinson's

Early detection and treatment of Parkinson's disease are vital in slowing the progression of the condition and helping those affected maintain a good quality of life. By being aware of the early warning signs, we can all do our part in supporting those who may be experiencing the onset of Parkinson's disease. 

If you or a loved one in San Diego, Chula Vista, Hillcrest, or Point Loma is experiencing any of these early warning signs or needs assistance in managing Parkinson's disease, don't hesitate to reach out to Senior Helpers San Diego. Our team is here to provide the support and care needed to navigate the challenges of living with Parkinson's disease.