Parkinson’s disease symptoms: The sign in your voice that could signal the brain condition

Parkinson’s disease symptoms usually develop gradually and are usually mild at first. The three main symptoms associated with the condition are a tremor – shaking which usually begins in the hand or arm, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness.

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But there are many different symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, and the order in which symptoms appear, how they develop and their severity is different for each individual.

One symptom of Parkinson’s disease not related to a person’s movement is a soft or low voice.

Parkinson’s Foundation notes this as an early warning sign of the condition.

It advises: “Have other people told you that your voice is very soft or that you sound hoarse?

“If there has been a change in your voice you should see your doctor about whether it could be Parkinson’s disease.

“Sometimes you might think other people are losing their hearing, when really you are speaking more softly.”

The site does add a chest cold or other virus can cause a person’s voice to sound different, but it should go back to sounding the same when you get over the cough or cold.

Other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Other physical symptoms a person with Parkinson’s disease may experience are listed by the NHS.

These include:

  • Loss of sense of smell (anosmia) – sometimes occurs several years before other symptoms develop
  • Nerve pain – can cause unpleasant sensations, such as burning, coldness or numbness
  • Problems with peeing – such as having to get up frequently during the night to pee or unintentionally peeing (urinary incontinence)
  • Constipation
  • An inability to obtain or sustain an erection (erectile dysfunction) in men
  • Difficulty becoming sexually aroused and achieving an orgasm (sexual dysfunction) in women
  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  • Dizziness, blurred vision or fainting when moving from a sitting or lying position to a standing one – caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Excessive production of saliva (drooling)
  • Problems sleeping (insomnia) – this can result in excessive sleepiness during the day

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What causes Parkinson’s disease

People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that make it have died, advises Parkinson’s UK.

It adds: “We don’t yet know exactly why people get Parkinson’s, but researchers think it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors that cause the dopamine-producing nerve cells to die.”

Parkinson’s disease treatment

There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease but there are treatments available to help relieve the symptoms.

Treatments include:

  • Supportive therapies, such as physiotherapy
  • Medication
  • Surgery (for some people)

If you suspect symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, contact your GP surgery my phone to speak to your GP.

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