April Is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Hands of older person

Parkinson’s disease affects an estimated 1 million Americans. This number is growing daily. Iowa is ranked 33rd for Parkinson’s disease rates. Parkinson’s disease is a type of movement disorder. People with Parkinson’s disease may have a variety of symptoms that can make it hard to diagnose. Early signs of Parkinson’s disease could include the following:

  • Tremor or slight shaking in your finger, thumb, hand, or chin. Shaking while at rest is a common early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Small Handwriting. You may notice your writing is smaller than in the past.
  • Loss of smell of certain foods.
  • Trouble sleeping or sudden movements and acting out dreams while asleep.
  • Difficulty moving or walking because of stiffness that doesn’t go away.
  • Constipation and difficulty swallowing due to how the disease affects muscles and nerves.
  • Speech changes such as a soft or low voice that is a change from your typical voice.
  • Facial masking or reduced face expression.
  • Dizziness or fainting, which can be a sign of low blood pressure and can be linked to the disease.
  • Stooping or difficulty standing up straight.

If you have two or more of the signs above you should consider making an appointment with your health care provider. Learn more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments by attending A Journey Through Parkinson’s Disease class, go.iastate.edu/IFGVG4.

National Institute on Aging, nia.nih.gov
Parkinson’s Foundation, www.parkinson.org/
American Parkinson Disease Association, www.apdaparkinson.org/