Parkinson's disease usually affects people who are 60 and above. Early onset Parkinson's strikes a person between the age of 21 to 50. It is also known as young onset Parkinson's disease. The symptoms are the same as in older people but younger people are more traumatized by their condition. Unfortunately, because this is perceived as an old person's disease, it is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in younger people. But one good thing is that, once diagnosed, the progression of disease is much slower in younger people. The cause of this disease may be a combination of genes and external factors. There is no cure yet for this condition but the progress can be delayed with proper care. As we get ready to observe World Brain Day tomorrow, let us take a look at this debilitating condition.
SYMPTOMS OF EARLY ONSET PARKINSON'S
You may suffer more involuntary movement problems. This is usually due to levodopa, a commonly prescribed Parkinson's disease medication. Other symptoms like memory loss, confusion, coordination problems are less in younger people.
EARLY SIGNS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
There are many signs that may indicate the early onset of Parkinson's. By recognizing these signs and taking appropriate measures, you can delay the progress of the disease. Here we list a few symptoms of early onset Parkinson's that you must look out for.
This is a common and early sign of Parkinson's. You may notice a trembling or tremor in your hands or a slight shaking of your fingers. Sometimes, it may also manifest in your chin. But it may also be a result of over-exercise, stress or an injury.
Change in handwriting
Sometimes, for no reason, there may be a change in your handwriting. The size of the letters may become small or the words may be too close together. This is known as micrographia and is a common symptom of early Parkinson's. If your eyesight is fine and there is no problem with your finger, you must consult a doctor.
Loss of sense of smell
All of us experience a loss of sense of smell if we have a cold or a stuffy nose. But once you recover, you get back this sense. But in Parkinson's, you may suffer a gradual loss of sense of smell and it doesn't get better.
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This is a very common and often ignored symptoms of onset of this condition. If you are unable sleep properly a night for no reason, you need to take care. Sometimes, sudden movements during sleep may also be a warning sign.
A rigid posture is another early sign of this disease. Your arms and legs and, in fact, your whole body may feel stiff. You may not swing your arms when walking. A stiff shoulder and pain in hips may also be warning signs. This stiffness also shows up on your face and you may exhibit no facial expression. You may also be stooping, leaning or slouching when you stand. You need to be worried if this stiffness does not go away even you move.
Do you have trouble moving your bowels without straining every day? Straining to move your bowels can be an early sign of Parkinson's disease and you should talk to your doctor.
Constipation is a common problem and it may happen due to many reasons. An unhealthy diet, dehydration, some medications may cause you to strain while passing stool. But if you suffer from constipation despite taking proper care, consult your doctor. It may be an early sign of Parkinson's.
Change in voice
Sometimes, you may hear a lot of complaints that you are being too soft when you speak or that your words are not legible. You may not believe it and think that other people have a problem. But a soft voice is another early sign of this disease.
A FEW TIPS FOR YOU
If you notice any of the said symptoms, consult your doctor. A proper plan will help you enjoy a long and fruitful life. Your doctor may refer you to a neurologist, an occupational therapist, physical therapist or speech therapist. You must also start a regular exercise programme to delay further symptoms. Keep your family in the loop and talk to them about the issue.