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Motor Symptoms

Stooped Posture

Parkinson’s affects control of automatic activities, so posture changes may occur without the brain’s automatic reminders to stand up straight. These changes may include stooped or rounded shoulders, decreased low back curve or forward lean of the head or whole body, making you look hunched over.

There are several factors that can lead to changes in posture:

Dyskinesia

DyskinesiasAbnormal, involuntary body movements that can appear as jerking, fidgeting, twisting and turning movements; frequently caused by dopaminergic medications to treat Parkinson’s. are involuntary, erratic, writhing movements of the face, arms, legs or trunk. They are often fluid and dance-like, but they may also cause rapid jerking or slow and extended muscle spasms. They are not a symptom of Parkinson's itself.

Dizziness or Fainting

Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a drop in blood pressure that happens when you go from a seated position or lying down to standing. Certain medications (including those for high blood pressure), dehydration and conditions such as heart disease increase this risk.

Loss of Smell

Not all people with reduced sense of smell will go on to develop Parkinson’s, but most people with PD have some loss of their sense of smell.

In fact, reduced sense of smell, called hyposmia, is often an early sign of Parkinson’s. Looking back, you may realize you were losing your sense of smell several years before you received a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Drooling

Excessive drooling, called sialorrhea, is a common symptom of Parkinson’s and can cause awkwardness in social situations. It ranges from mild wetting of the pillow during sleep to embarrassing outpourings of saliva during unguarded moments. For example, this can happen when the head is down, the mouth is held open involuntarily (as happens in advanced PD) or when a person is engaged in an activity and is distracted from the need to swallow automatically.

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