Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease are signs according to which experts can draw conclusions about the presence of this pathology. Parkinson's disease itself is a condition in which dopamine stops being produced in the brain, which is necessary for controlling the motor functions of a person and the effects on the nervous system. People who suffer from Parkinson's disease, experience numerous physical symptoms, the most pronounced is the slowness of movements and the inability to control muscular work.

Due to the constant progression of the stages of this disease, it is important to know all the symptoms of the pathology in order to be able to track the need for medical care in exacerbating the problem.

First forerunners

Parkinson's disease begins with the death of brain neurons, which are responsible for producing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Neurotransmitters are substances that contribute to the ability to exchange various signals between nerve cells and muscle tissues.

The first symptoms of Parkinson's disease or preclinical manifestations of the pathology occur 6-10 years before the moment of identification of the disease. The harbingers of the disease can be considered the deterioration of smell, the occurrence of constipation, the occurrence of orthostatic hypotension (with a sharp change in body position a person feels the pressure drop), a decrease in sexual function in men, the occurrence of depression, and frequent nightmares.

A clear clinical picture of Parkinson's disease occurs only after the death of 50-80% of brain neurons producing dopamine, and no more than 20-30% of dopamine reserves remain in the body.

Motor signs

For a long time in medical circles, it was believed that the main symptoms of Parkinson are exclusively motor signs. It is for the totality of motor disorders in the past exhibited the diagnosis of parkinsonism.

Violation of motor functions always occurs first on one side of the human body, and after 2-5 years it gradually spreads to the second half.

The asymmetry of the onset of the disease is in modern science the most accurate sign of the occurrence of Parkinson's disease.

Hypokinesia as a symptom

Hypokinesia as a symptom is expressed in the fact that the patient's motor activity is significantly reduced. A person for several hours can sit in one position, move very slowly, stiffly, moving in small steps and moving his legs parallel to each other. Also unconditional body movements disappear. The patient stops waving his arms in the process of walking, his gaze becomes frozen and unresponsive, his face expresses a complete lack of emotionality, his eyes almost do not blink.

Reduced emotionality occurs in human speech. The patient begins to speak expressionlessly and monotonously. Also, the handwriting of a patient with parkinsonism suffers greatly, its smoothness and amplitude decrease, the written looks ragged.

Muscle rigidity

Muscular rigidity in parkinsonism is also expressed in constraint of movement, as the tone of muscle tissue increases. The patient has a forced posture, he slouches, his head is often tilted to the side or forward, and his limbs are constantly in a half-bent state. If the patient makes a movement, then in this state the limbs freeze for a long time.

If another person tries to move the limbs behind the patient, one can feel resistance in the patient's muscles. Also characterized by another symptom of the disease, called in medicine "gear wheel". It manifests itself in the spasmodic movement of the joints, if you try to move your hand or foot instead of the patient. It seems that the gears are located in the area of ​​the joints of a person.

Resting tremor

Tremor is a tremor. Most often, in Parkinson's disease, this symptom is most obvious. Typically, limb tremor in cases of parkinsonism is manifested in a state of rest, may disappear during periods of sleep and increase if the person is worried. Tremor, in addition to the limbs, can manifest itself as jitter or head jitter up and down. When moving, the tremor subsides, and at rest usually increases. The first symptom of parkinsonism in 40% of all cases of the disease is precisely tremor. Many patients suffer from asymmetric trembling of the hands, so that it seems as if the person is recounting coins. Tremor of the legs, chin and head joins later, but postural tremor (hand trembling when trying to hold certain poses) most often occurs many years before the onset of obvious signs of the disease.

Postural instability

Postural instability as a symptom of parkinsonism is expressed in the complexity of controlling one's own actions. It is hard for a patient to start moving and ending his movements. Impaired coordination changes the center of gravity in the body, which often leads to falls. The patient can no longer keep balance or does it with great difficulty. In the process of walking, the body moves forward by inertia, which leads to a stumbling, a fall and the need to use improvised means to facilitate walking.

Non-motor symptoms

In addition to the main motor dysfunctions, symptoms of Parkinson's disease are considered to be non-motor disorders, such as:

  • constipation;
  • muscle and joint pain;
  • bladder emptying disorders at night;
  • sleep disorders;
  • loss or decrease in smell;
  • the occurrence of weakness and fatigue;
  • frequent and severe depressive states.

Behavior disorders

Among the main behavioral disorders in the occurrence of parkinsonism include depression, depression, self-contained. The person starts to talk very quietly, hoarseness arises in his timbre, the sound begins to tremble. The speech itself loses emotionality and begins to resemble the answers of the robot. Also, the patient's facial expression becomes indifferent. In medicine, there is such a thing as "Parkinson's mask", which is applied to the amymic persons of patients. A person always looks upset, apathetic, "heartbroken." The number of eye blinks is also reduced. All this is caused by an insufficient amount of dopamine, because due to its lack of facial muscles harden.

However, in addition to external signs, the character of the person itself changes along with the face. He becomes indifferent, is not interested in anything, thinks over what has been said for a long time, does not react to appeals to him from the first time.

Apathy and indifference are the main signs of behavior of a person with Parkinson's disease.

Depression as a symptom

The main psychological symptom of parkinsonism is depression. The patient is always in a bad mood, he feels very lethargic, loses confidence in his own judgments and actions. A person begins to avoid fuss, noisy events, a large flow of communication. Motivation for life and some individual interests completely disappears. It can be said that the patient becomes uninteresting life itself.

Constipation as a non-motor symptom

Another non-motor somatic manifestation of early parkinsonism is the occurrence of constipation. If daily bowel movement is accompanied by tension and soreness, it is important to try to reconcile this with enough fluid and fiber in the diet. Sometimes some medications can have this effect. However, if the reasons listed above cannot affect the quality of the stool, and the constipation is still pestering you, you need to think about the fact that this symptom may indicate the first symptoms of Parkinson's disease, resulting from a metabolic disorder due to a malfunction of the brain.

Sleep disturbance

Parkinson's disease is usually accompanied by problems with sleep. During the day, such people experience excessive apathy and drowsiness, and at night they cannot fall asleep normally. Also, if during a night's sleep a person begins to make sudden and very sharp movements, this can also be a bell of what Parkinsonism begins to manifest.

Nightmares are evidence of incipient parkinsonism, respiratory arrest during sleep β€” Apnea β€” can also speak of this pathology. At the same time, it is important to consider the totality of symptoms, and not each symptom separately. For example, if, during nightmares, a person is also tormented by restless legs syndrome, when he cannot fall asleep without movements with his legs, which eventually wake him up, you should think about a visit to the doctor.

Impaired cognitive function and sexual activity

Impaired cognitive function in Parkinson's disease is expressed by the following symptoms:

  • lethargy or bradyphrenia occurs;
  • ability to concentrate decreases, fatigue increases;
  • the ability to learn something new is lost, as the operational memory decreases;
  • a person ceases to plan his future, even the nearest actions;
  • thinking becomes inert, decisions are made on patterns, the ability to reflect disappears;
  • the development of dementia in the late stages of the disease.

Also an additional symptom of emerging Parkinson's disease is a decrease in sexual desire, which is especially noticeable in men in the very early stages of the disease. The more Parkinsonism progresses, the more pronounced sexual dysfunction and as a result, the person completely loses interest in the sexual life.

Pain sensations

Muscle rigidity in Parkinson's disease often leads to painful sensations in the shoulder joints, the cervical spine. The first manifestations of muscle rigidity may not be noticeable, however, even before all the obvious manifestations of the disease, pain in the above-mentioned departments may begin to disturb a person.

If there is no other symptom, patients are diagnosed with osteochondrosis, which can be treated for a long time at the chronic stage, since there is no need to wait for a person to improve therapy.

Vegetative changes

Numerous vegetative signs of the disease act as obvious symptoms of Parkinson's disease. They cover almost all organs and systems of the body, since disruptions in brain activity most often affect the functionality of the whole body.

Among the main autonomic disorders in the gastrointestinal tract are constipation, defecatory dysfunction, dysphagia, nausea, impaired salivation. Among cardiovascular symptoms, orthostatic hypotension, arterial hypertension in the supine position and hypotension after a meal, a violation of heart rhythm. The urinary system of the body reacts to the occurrence of parkinsonism with nocturia, urinary incontinence, lengthening and increased urination, urinary retention, a feeling of incomplete emptying and other factors. The reproductive system exhibits its own dysfunction by decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and ejaculation, and rarer sex contacts. Also, shortness of breath often occurs, the cough reflex is disturbed, the person starts to endure heat or cold badly, seborrhea can occur.

Hallucinations as a manifestation of the disease

When violations of the brain work there are various serious consequences for human health. In Parkinson's disease, hallucinations may occur in 20-60% of all cases of illness, which are caused by external and internal sources.

Neurodegenerative processes in the death of nerve cells that synthesize dopamine often cause psychopathic pathologies, mental disorders, which can result in hallucinations of various kinds (visual, auditory, and others). This can increase the violation of medication that is prescribed to patients with parkinsonism. In this case, hallucinations also often occur.

Features of manifestations in people of different gender and age

On average, Parkinson's disease begins to manifest in patients at 55 years of age. However, there are also known cases of debut of the disease before the age of 40, as well as in childhood and adolescence (juvenile parkinsonism). The symptomatology of the disease does not depend on the age of the patient in which she made herself known. However, the younger the patient with parkinsonian symptoms, the slower the disease usually progresses.

Exposure to Parkinson's disease does not depend on the gender of a person, his race, social status or place of residence. All studies on this score today have a negative result.

Most of all, the course of the disease affects the course of Parkinson's disease. At the later stages, the quality of life of patients suffers greatly, they become completely dependent on outside care, their function of swallowing is impaired, due to which their weight may drop dramatically. It is usually fatal in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease due to respiratory distress or pressure sores that have joined.