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Your Guide to the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s symptoms are sorted into two categories: motor (movement-related) and non-motor (non-movement related). The severity and nature of the symptoms vary for each person. Symptoms can be managed so those living with Parkinson’s disease are able to live their lives as normally as possible.

This article outlines the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. For personalised treatment for Parkinson’s, contact the MetroRehab team.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition which can include both motor and non-motor symptoms, and affects around 10 million people worldwide. These symptoms will develop slowly over a number of years and its main symptoms generally include tremor (mostly at rest, usually in hands but all forms of tremor are possible), limb rigidity, and gait and balance problems.

What are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?

Motor symptoms can include:

  • Tremor— usually occurring at rest and the most common symptom. Tremor typically starts in one hand, foot, or leg, and can spread to other parts of the body
  • Slowness of movement, called bradykinesia
  • Body rigidity
  • Postural instability

For a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease to be considered, bradykinesia must be present along with tremor and/or rigidity.

Non-motor symptoms can include:

  • Loss of smell
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, or apathy
  • Constipation
  • Soft or low voice
  • Looking sad or angry when you don’t feel that way
  • Dizziness and/or fainting
  • Changes in handwriting where it becomes smaller or hard to distinguish

What are the Causes and Risk Factors for Parkinson’s disease?

Genetics

Scientists believe the cause of Parkinson’s disease is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genetics accounts for about 10-15% of all Parkinson’s diagnoses. It has been discovered there are dozens of gene mutations which can lead to Parkinson’s, and genetic testing is available.

Environmental Factors

There’s still a lot to be learned about what environmental factors can contribute to Parkinson’s disease. Risk factors include head injury, exposure to pesticides and chemicals, and where you live. There are also certain environmental factors which can decrease your risk; however, these are still being studied. Evidence suggests that lifestyle choices can also influence the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease Management and Treatment

While there is no standard treatment for such a varied disease, options such as medications and surgery can be considered along with lifestyle changes like rest, exercise, and rehabilitation. MetroRehab offers two treatment options for Parkinson’s:

MetroRehab Parkinson’s disease program

MetroRehab’s Parkinson’s disease program includes:

  • Speech Therapy, based on Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) principles
  • Music Therapy, containing rhythmic auditory stimulation which can improve quality of movement
  • Physiotherapy, to help with retraining mobility and balance— we can also give advice on walking aids to assist further
  • Hydrotherapy, in our heated pool
  • Occupational therapy, to help with tasks like preparing food and getting dressed, and fine motor skills like handwriting
  • Clinical psychology
  • Dietetics

PD Warrior®

The PD Warrior® program is a group-based exercise program which helps with physical and cognitive aspects of Parkinson’s disease in a fun and social way. While general exercise like walking or swimming can be helpful, the PD Warrior® program is beneficial as it has specific and tailored exercises specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease. Benefits include improvement in movement and thinking, increased functionality and confidence, a boost in energy levels, and a delay in onset of severe symptoms.

Access Quality Care for Parkinson’s disease at MetroRehab

We hope the information in this article has been helpful for you. At MetroRehab, we deliver quality rehabilitation programs to help people with Parkinson’s disease improve their quality of life. To learn more about Parkinson’s treatment or to book an appointment, call our friendly team today on 02 8585 4900.

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