Detecting symptoms of Parkinson's disease begins by looking for tremors, rigid muscles, speech changes, impaired posture and loss of unconscious movements, according to Mayo Clinic. Other signs to look for include changes in writing and slowed movement. One side of the body may initially be more affected than the other.
Parkinson's disease causes uncontrolled shaking that usually starts in the limbs, and a person's hands may tremble even when relaxed, says Mayo Clinic. Stiff, painful muscles that limit range of motion may be a sign of Parkinson's. The disease causes changes in speech that include speaking rapidly or softly, slurring, hesitation and using a monotone. A loss of balance occurs in people with Parkinson's, and their posture may become stooped. Normal automatic body movements such as swinging the arms while walking and blinking may be impaired.
People with Parkinson's disease sometimes start to write smaller and it becomes a struggle, notes Mayo Clinic. Movement is gradually slowed so that even simple functions take more time. People start to drag their feet when they walk, and standing up becomes more difficult. One side of the body is often affected first, and even after symptoms spread, that side remains more impaired. Early signs of Parkinson's sometimes go unnoticed because they're not pronounced, and the symptoms vary among individuals.