Parkinson's disease is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which brain cells that produce dopamine (which transmits impulses between nerves) become damaged or die. Parkinson's disease symptoms occur when dopamine levels fall below 80 per cent.
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The first signs of Parkinson's disease may be a slight tremor in one limb, often a hand. Your walk may be a little unstable, and you may have a little stoop and some differences in facial expression.
Tremors spread to both sides of your body, and you will have increasing difficulty walking because of an unsteady gait. You also may have difficulty completing tasks.
You will have a marked increase in symptoms (tremors, jerking), your movements will slow, and you will have difficulty standing upright or walking steadily.
You can't live by yourself, because you will find walking very difficult and may have increasingly slow responses, rigidity and stiffness that impair movement, as well as difficulty swallowing. Your tremors, however, may ease during this stage.
You will be unable to care for yourself and you will be chair or bed-bound. You may have increasing dementia, as well--similar to Alzheimer's disease, along with difficulty speaking and swallowing.
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