Stages of Parkinson’s

What Are Early Symptoms?

Parkinson’s symptoms begin gradually, often on one side of the body. Later they affect both sides. They include:

  • Resting tremor on one side of the body, then both
  • Trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk, which can be painful
  • Slowness of movement
  • Poor balance and coordination

What Are Other Symptoms of Parkinson's?

  • Small, cramped handwriting
  • Difficulty with “automatic” movements, like arm swinging and blinking
  • Decreased facial expression
  • Lowered voice volume
  • Episodes of feeling “stuck in place” when you take a step (freezing)
  • Foot drag
  • Less swallowing

As symptoms get worse, people with the disease may have trouble walking, talking, or doing simple tasks. Complications can sometimes include cognitive difficulties, constipations, bladder problems, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty sleeping. The stresses of living with the disease can also cause depression and anxiety.

The Good News

It’s important to remember that most people don’t have all the symptoms you see here. Almost all of these symptoms can be eased with medication, lifestyle modifications and good teamwork between patient and doctor.