Parkinson’s disease affects as many as ten million people worldwide, and one million people in the United States. With such widespread prevalence, it’s important to understand the issues Parkinson’s poses and strategies for managing it.
The first symptom of Parkinson’s, as you likely know, is usually slightly shaking limbs. As the disease progresses, individuals tend to experience stiff muscles, difficulty walking and other issues related to movement. Difficulty with movement and coordination results from drops in dopamine levels, which also affects mood. Consequently, many people with Parkinson’s also suffer depression. Others may also experience difficulty swallowing, dry skin and scalp, constipation or sleep problems. Roughly 20 percent of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s have dementia or other cognitive disorders.