Diane Alavie picture to go with article on Parkinson’s disease

April is Parkinson’s awareness month, and we would like to issue a challenge. Can you name three early signs of Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s (PD) is the fastest growing neurological disorder in the world, and more than 25 Canadians are diagnosed with the disease daily. That number will likely double by 2040. PD is not exclusive to seniors and can affect people of all ages, nationalities, and genders including notables like Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali, Alan Alda, Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Diamond, Pierre Trudeau, and Robin Williams. There is no cure.

Parkinson’s is a nervous system disorder that affects movement by disrupting signals in our brains. Symptoms can start small and build so gradually that the disease can be hard to pinpoint in its early stages. Those symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • Loss of smell
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble moving or walking
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Small handwriting
  • Soft or low voice
  • Stooping posture

If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, you should speak with your doctor. Bear in mind, however, that diagnosing Parkinson’s disease is no easy task. No blood test, eye exam, or nasal swab will give you a clear ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ for the disease. It may take some time to make a determination.

There is still so much that we don’t know about Parkinson’s, but research and community awareness is the way forward. Now, can you name three early signs of Parkinson’s disease?