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More than 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic movement disorder that develops in middle to late age, typically around 60, though younger people can also develop Parkinson’s; early onset Parkinson’s affects individuals between 21 and 50. This neurological disease prevents the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate muscle movement in the body. Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are mild and may go unnoticed. However, they eventually worsen as the disease progresses.

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1. Categories of Symptoms

Medical professionals divide Parkinson’s symptoms into three categories: primary motor symptoms, secondary motor symptoms, and non-motor symptoms.

  • Primary motor symptoms affect primary motor movements. The brain sends messages to the spinal cord to cause contraction and movement of specific muscles.
  • Secondary motor symptoms are those that result from the primary motor symptoms.
  • Non-motor symptoms are those connected to cognition, memory, sleep, and natural bodily functions.
  • A person does not have to present all the symptoms to receive a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

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    This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.