Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s can be a truly life-altering event, so much so that many put off being diagnosed, even if they experience a clear symptom of the disease – such as a tremor.
However, early treatment is the best for Parkinson’s. The earlier you catch the disease, the more time you can buy. While there is no cure for this horrible illness, there are certain steps that you can take to slow down the progression of the illness – including medication.
However, knowing the early warning signs is key to making sure that you get an early diagnosis. So here are 10 often-missed warning signs that can help you identify if you or someone you love may be in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.
1. Loss of smell
The loss of the sense of smell is probably one the least-known, but earliest warning signs of Parkinson’s disease developing. Many recent studies have put weight behind the idea that olfactory dysfunction is a very early warning sign of Parkinson’s disease. Some researchers in the field have considered running tests for a lack of smell as a screening for Parkinson’s, as this change is very often linked to the development.
The development of tremors are perhaps one of the most instantly recognizable signs of Parkinson’s disease. This can commonly include a slight twitching of either the fingers or hands, and even in the feet. Whilst in the very early stages of Parkinson’s, only the person suffering will likely notice the tremors. However, as the condition progresses over time, the tremors will worsen and become noticeable to others.
3. Trouble sleeping
Many of us will have nights where we have trouble sleeping from time to time. However, when you have Parkinson’s disease, a restless night’s sleep can become something else entirely.
One of the earliest warning signs of Parkinson’s is rapid eye-movement behavior disorder (RBD). Research published in Neurology showed that over 50 percent of people who suffer with RBD will develop Parkinson’s disease or dementia. Those who are suffering with RBD essentially act out their dreams while they are in the deepest stage of sleep. This means that they can often shout, kick or grind their teeth. Sometimes they may even attack anyone who is sleeping nearby.