Parkinsons Disease Home > Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

Other Symptoms

Various other symptoms can be present with Parkinson's disease. Some are minor, while others are more bothersome. Many symptoms can be treated with appropriate medication or physical therapy. However, no one can predict which Parkinson's disease symptoms will affect an individual person. The intensity of the symptoms also varies from person to person. None of these symptoms is fatal, although swallowing problems can cause choking.
 
Other symptoms of Parkinson's disease can include:
 
  • Depression
  • Emotional changes
  • Dementia
  • Difficulty swallowing and chewing
  • Speech impairments
  • Urinary problems
  • Constipation
  • Skin problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sexual difficulties.
     
Depression
Depression is a common problem and may appear early in the course of the disease, even before other symptoms are noticed. Depression may not be severe, but it may be intensified by the drugs used to treat other Parkinson's disease symptoms. Fortunately, depression can be successfully treated with antidepressant medications.
 
(Click Parkinson's Disease and Depression for more information.)
 
Emotional Changes
Some people with Parkinson's disease become fearful and insecure. Perhaps they fear they cannot cope with new situations. They may not want to travel, go to parties, or socialize with friends. Some lose their motivation and become dependent on family members. Others may become irritable or uncharacteristically pessimistic. Memory loss and slow thinking may occur, although the ability to reason remains intact. Whether people actually suffer intellectual loss (also known as dementia) from Parkinson's disease is a controversial area still being studied.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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