Michael J. Fox was a 29-year-old actor who woke up one morning and noticed his little finger shaking. What he thought was a side effect of a hangover actually was an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that has no known cause. Nearly a million people in the United States live with the disease.
Some symptoms of the disease are easy to see, while others are hard even for a trained healthcare professional to detect.
The National Parkinson Foundation offers these 10 early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease:
- Tremor or shaking of a body part
- Small handwriting – your handwriting changes to become smaller
- Loss of smell
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble moving or walking
- Soft or low voice – your voice changes to be softer
- Masked or serious look on your face even when you’re not in a bad mood
- Dizziness or fainting
- Stooping or hunching over
No one symptom necessarily means that you have the disease; the symptom may be caused by another condition. However, if you feel you are experiencing symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit your physician.