From the Blog

5 Early Signs of Parkinson's Disease

Did you know that every 6 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease? Before 2022, it was estimated that 60,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year. Of those 60,000 people diagnosed, 10 – 20% were under 50 years old. Parkinson’s Disease does not only effect older populations, and it’s important to know the signs so that you can catch it early.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that affects movement and parts of the body controlled by nerves. Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder, meaning that symptoms develop slowly and get worse over time. While progression may take years, it varies from each person due to the diversity of the disease. The cause of Parkinson’s is unknown at this time, but some scientists believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors are related.


Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

If you’re experiencing one of these symptoms, there’s no need to worry. However, suppose you’re experiencing many of the following symptoms. In that case, it’s important to contact your primary care provider not only to diagnose your condition but also to rule out other causes for your symptoms.


Rhythmic shaking, known as tremor, usually starts in a limb like your hand or fingers. The tremor may be worse when you’re resting and less noticeable when engaged in tasks.

Trouble Moving or Walking

Are your steps shorter when you walk? Are you dragging your feet as you try to walk? Parkinson’s can cause muscle stiffness in any part of your body which can be painful and limit your range of motion. Or, your movements may become slower than usual.

A Soft or Low Voice

Since Parkinson’s affects the levels of dopamine in the brain, your perception of how loudly you speak may change. It may seem like you’re shouting so you end up speaking very softly.

Masked Face

The muscles in your face may be stiff or take longer to move resulting in a “masked” expression. You may find it difficult to smile, raise an eyebrow, or show any expression using your face, which can make communication more difficult. Others may ask you “what’s wrong?” more often because they can’t interpret your mood without facial expressions.

Stooping or Hunching

Your posture may become stooped as a result of Parkinson’s. You may also experience balance issues or falls.

Other symptoms unrelated to movement may include depression, hallucinations, constipation, sleep disorders, loss of sense of smell, and apathy.

What can you do if you think that you have Parkinson’s?

Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. Let them know what symptoms you’re experiencing, and they can refer you to a neurologist.

How to live better with Parkinson’s Disease

There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are ways to improve your quality of life.

  • Work with your primary care provider to create a plan that may include:
  • Lean on family and friends for support
  • Start a regular exercise plan to delay symptoms