6 Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s
With the passing of boxing great Muhammad Ali, Parkinson’s disease has made a return to the national spotlight. The “Louisville Lip” lived with Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, having been diagnosed at the relatively early age of 42. Most diagnoses come after age 60, but about 4% of diagnoses come before age 50. How was Ali diagnosed so early, and what signs should you watch out for in yourself or someone you love?
Some Parkinson’s diseases symptoms are well known, like the tremors from which Ali suffered. But Parkinson’s is often difficult to diagnose when it’s in its early stages, and no blood or imaging test can confirm if someone has the disease.
So how is Parkinson’s diagnosed? A doctor will take a medical history and look for signs. In addition to slow movement — aka bradykinesia – either stiffness or tremors must also be present. The doctor may also use a SPECT test that tracks the chemical dopamine in the brain. But your doctor needs to know to look for Parkinson’s, and that’s where you come in. Tell your doctor if you’ve noticed any of these early warning signs.