Parkinson's Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

2. What are the symptoms of Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's belongs to a group of neurological conditions called movement disorders. The four main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:

  • tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
  • rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • bradykinesia, or slowness of movement
  • postural instability, or impaired balance.

Other symptoms include depression, emotional changes, difficulty swallowing, speech changes, urinary problems, sleep problems, and dementia and other cognitive problems.

Parkinson's symptoms usually begin gradually and get worse over time. As the symptoms become more severe, people with the disorder may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. They also experience non-motor, or movement, symptoms including mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.

Parkinson's disease not only affects the brain, but the entire body. While the brain involvement is responsible for the core features, other affected locations contribute to the complicated picture of Parkinson's.