Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Elderly hand holding a fork.The early symptoms of Parkinson’s sometimes mimic other illnesses, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and have a complete neurological examination with an accurate medical history. Your doctor may need to observe your symptoms over time to reach a conclusive diagnosis.

Primary features of Parkinson's disease

At least two of the following four primary features must be present for a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

  • Slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • Rigidity or stiffness (difficulty bending arms or legs)
  • Postural instability (stooped, slumped posture) or loss of balance
  • Resting tremor (shaking of hand or foot when the muscles are relaxed)

Secondary features of Parkinson's disease

Patients with Parkinson's disease often also experience:

  • Shuffling gait
  • Small handwriting
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Loss of facial expression
  • Urinary problems
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Soft or monotone speech
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Sexual problems
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Pain, numbness or tingling
  • Dementia or confusion