Parkinson’s Disease: May Go Unnoticed for Years


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Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that initially causes tremors in one hand, stiffness or slowing of movement, and difficulty with coordination and balance. The disease is caused by the death of dopamine-secreting neurons in the brain. The exact cause of this damage is still unknown, but it is believed that environmental factors and genetics play a role. Parkinson's disease symptoms may vary from person to person, and early signs may be mild and may go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of the body and usually get worse on the same side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.

Women are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than men. However, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in females may differ. Symptoms may appear later on, and females may be more likely to experience depression compared with males.

Parkinson's disease is diagnosed based on a person's medical history, a physical examination, and a neurological examination. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but medications can help manage symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. is a website that provides a free Parkinson's disease screening tool. The tool is designed to predict the likelihood of a person having Parkinson’s disease (PD), however it is not a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis. The tool is accessible to anyone with a laptop, internet connection, microphone, and a webcam.  The screening tool reportedly supports over 10+ clinical tasks to access your symptoms. The website notes that results of the screening tool are “transparent and easy to interpret”. The website also provides a data collection framework called PARK (Parkinson’s Analysis with Remote Kinetic-tasks) which instructs and guides users’ UPDRS tasks, including motor/audio/facial tasks, and records their performance via a webcam. 

Symptoms: People may experience: Tremor: can occur at rest, in the hands, limbs, or can be postural

Muscular: stiff muscles, difficulty standing, difficulty walking, difficulty with bodily movements, involuntary movements, muscle rigidity, problems with coordination, rhythmic muscle contractions, slow bodily movement, or slow shuffling gait

Sleep: early awakening, nightmares, restless sleep, or sleep disturbancesWhole body: fatigue, dizziness, poor balance, or restlessness

Cognitive: amnesia, confusion in the evening hours, dementia, or difficulty thinking and understanding

Speech: difficulty speaking, soft speech, or voice box spasms

Mood: anxiety or apathy

Nasal: distorted sense of smell or loss of smellUrinary: dribbling of urine or leaking of urine

Facial: jaw stiffness or reduced facial expression

Also common: blank stare, constipation, depression, difficulty swallowing, drooling, falling, fear of falling, loss in contrast sensitivity, neck tightness, small handwriting, trembling, unintentional writhing, or weight loss. 
If you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms of Parkinson’s, please consult professional medical doctors.

*For informational purposes only. *Consult your local medical authority for advice.Sources: Mayo Clinic and others. 
Image sourced from American Association for Parkinson’s 

Markxhogben@Instagram lives off-grid with Parkinson’s Disease. His tremors are significant. He does not want to be rescued. A former computer gaming engineer who sailed off into the sunset of old age with a crippling disease that he is managing off-grid with older age. He’s has requested postcards.
On this MLK Day, if you have not thought of how to volunteer, please consider reading about Mark on Instagram, and mail him a postcard. His address is: 

Mark Hogben1370-1 Chemin Kipawa Témiscaming, QC J0Z 3R0Canada

Instagram link 

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