Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a disorder of the brain that causes a variety of movement problems. Symptoms of Parkinson's disease vary widely, affecting each individual in different ways. And because Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease, symptoms may worsen as time goes on.

Progression of Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

The following symptoms are common among people with Parkinson’s disease, but the symptoms of the disease can vary widely and are unique to each individual.

Early Stage Symptoms:

  • Tremor on one side of the body when at rest
  • Arm swing on only one side of the body when walking
  • Muscle stiffness or aching
  • Slowness of movement
  • Small handwriting (microphagia)
  • Decreased facial expression
  • Depression (sadness or anxiousness)
  • Vivid dreams or restless sleep
  • Constipation
  • Feelings of fatigue

Moderate Stage Symptoms:

  • Tremor on both sides of the body
  • Shuffling gait
  • Difficulty rising from a chair
  • Reduced speech volume (hypophonia)
  • Reduced speed and clarity of speech (hypokinetic dysarthria)

Advanced Stage Symptoms:

  • Significant changes in, or freezing of, gait
  • Increased risk of serious injury from falling
  • Unpredictable response to medication
  • Assistance required for activities of daily living
  • Difficulty turning in bed
  • Slowness of thought (bradyphrenia)

You may not experience all of these symptoms, even if you have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Keep in mind, too, that some of these symptoms may be associated with other diseases or can be side effects of treatment.

What Should I Do if I Have These Symptoms?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician. Research and medical advances are producing new options for treating the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to taking charge of Parkinson's disease and continuing to stay active.

Learn More about the Importance of Early Treatment.



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