Corporate Office- South Bend, IN

17187 State Road 23 South Bend, IN 46635 Phone: (574) 273-6000 Fax: (574) 247-8199 View Map & Get Directions

Elkhart, IN

1612 W. Lexington Ave. Elkhart, IN 46514 Phone: (574) 522-2273 Fax: (574) 522-4563 View Map & Get Directions

Plymouth, IN

1920 W. Lake Ave. Plymouth, IN 46563 Phone: (574) 941-4444 Fax: (574) 941-4440 View Map & Get Directions

Michigan City, IN

3219 South Franklin Street Michigan City, IN 46360 Phone: (219) 872-1000 Fax: (219) 879-1917 View Map & Get Directions

St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Medical Office Building

611 E. Douglas Road, Suite 124 Mishawaka, IN 46545 Phone: 574-247-8100 Fax: 574-855-2475 View Map & Get Directions

Health Issues

Parkinson's Disease Symptoms and Facts

The symptoms of Parkinson's disease vary from person to person. Early signs may be subtle and can go unnoticed for months or years. Symptoms typically begin on one side of the body and usually remain worse on that side. Parkinson's signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tremor. The characteristic shaking associated with Parkinson's disease often begins in a hand. A back-and-forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger, known as pill-rolling, is common. However, many people with Parkinson's disease do not experience substantial tremor.
  • Slowed motion (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson's disease may reduce your ability to initiate voluntary movement. This may make even the simplest tasks difficult and time-consuming. When you walk, your steps may become short and shuffling. Or your feet may freeze to the floor, making it hard to take the first step.
  • Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness often occurs in your limbs and neck. Sometimes the stiffness can be so severe that it limits the range of your movements and causes pain.
  • Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped as a result of Parkinson's disease. Imbalance also is common, although this is usually mild until the later stages of the disease.
  • Loss of automatic movements. Blinking, smiling and swinging your arms when you walk are all unconscious acts that are a normal part of being human. In Parkinson's disease, these acts tend to be diminished and even lost. Some people may develop a fixed staring expression and unblinking eyes. Others may no longer gesture or seem animated when they speak.
  • Speech changes. Many people with Parkinson's disease have problems with speech. You may speak more softly, rapidly or in a monotone, sometimes slurring or repeating words, or hesitating before speaking.
  • Dementia. In the later stages of Parkinson's disease, some people develop problems with memory and mental clarity. Alzheimer's drugs appear to alleviate some of these symptoms to a mild degree.