Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder whereby the nerve cells in the brain responsible for body movement die. This results in an inability to regulate movement. These symptoms usually develop gradually and are mild at first. There is a symptom similar to a warning sign of COVID-19 warning you may be at risk. What is it?
Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells in a specific part of the brain.
These nerve cells are used to help send messages between the brain and the nervous system.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms tend to develop gradually, and only appear as mild at first.
One early warning sign of the condition which is similar to a symptom of coronavirus is loss of smell.
Most Parkinson’s patients develop a reduced sense of smell, to some extent, according to charity the Parkinson’s Foundation.
It’s an early warning sign of the condition, and some patients realise they’ve been affected for years ahead of their official diagnosis.
But just because you lose your sense of smell, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have Parkinson’s.
It’s more likely to be caused by the neurodegenerative condition if it’s accompanied by other common symptoms.
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Loss of smell is often overlooked by Parkinson’s patients, warned the charity The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research.
It may start years before the initial motor symptoms of the neurodegenerative condition.
It’s not exactly clear why Parkinson’s causes loss of smell, but it’s likely to be caused by clumps of proteins in the brain.
These lumps, which are characteristic of Parkinson’s, may inhibit the brain’s ability to differentiate between smells.
Losing your sense of smell isn’t usually caused by anything serious, and may get better by itself within a few weeks, added the NHS.
It could, however, be caused by a coronavirus infection, and anybody that notices a change to their sense of smell or taste should self-isolate at home.
It could also be caused by a cold, allergies, sinusitis, or even nasal polyps.
Hyposmia is more common as you get older and can be treated with some medications.
Hyposmia is a decreases sense of smell.
In addition to physical symptoms, Parkinson’s can also cause a range of mental symptoms.
According to the NHS, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms include:
Depression and anxiety
Mild cognitive impairment – slight memory problems and problems with activities that require planning and organisation
Dementia – a group of symptoms, including more severe memory problems, personality changes, seeing things that are not there (visual hallucinations) and believing things that are not true (delusions).
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