Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease in Seniors

Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease in Seniors

Motor symptoms:

For a long time, motor impairments (or motor symptoms) were considered the only manifestations of Parkinson’s disease. Movement disorders first appear on one side of the body, and only after 2-5 years, both sides are affected. This asymmetrical onset is still considered one of the most accurate diagnostic signs of Parkinson’s disease.

Bradykinesia

In Bradykinesia, it becomes difficult for the elderly to plan and carry out small actions. The handwriting becomes small, the speech becomes quiet and unrecognizable. Then it becomes difficult to eat and carry out proper hygiene procedures. From the side, you can also see that the patient is not as actively waving their arms when walking as before (hypokinesia).

Stage I

As the disease progresses, speech and gait slow down, facial expressions become poor.

In the early stages, bradykinesia can be detected by special tests given below:

Test Fournier

Tapping test

As the disease develops, it becomes difficult for a person to get up, and turn around in the bed. Gait becomes shallow and shuffling. It can be difficult for a patient to step after a stop as if they are “stuck”. Later, the characteristic “petitioner posture” is formed.

Tremor

In 40% of patients, they become the initial symptom of Parkinson’s disease. They are noticeable at rest and disappear when moving. Later, the tremor of the legs and chin becomes noticeable. Handshaking when trying to hold a certain posture (postural tremor) can occur many years before the disease becomes apparent.

Rigidity

Or stiffness of movement. Increases muscle tone. If you try to move your arms or legs over the patient, it seems as if they consciously resist these attempts. Another characteristic symptom of Parkinson’s disease is the “cogwheel phenomenon”.

Postural instability

It becomes difficult for a person to maintain balance. Often, when walking, the body continues to move forward which can provoke a fall. The patient often stumbles, and need assistance while walking.

Non-motor symptoms:

changes in cognitive functions:

the reaction rate decreases;

fatigue, it is difficult to concentrate for a long time;

“operational memory” decreases – it becomes impossible to learn something new, even, at first glance;

it becomes difficult to plan;

Inertness of thinking develops: a person makes decisions without noticing that the situation has changed and the old strategies have become inadequate;

in advanced stages, 80% of patients develop dementia.

Emotional disorders:

old interests disappear and new ones do not appear;

apathy;

depression;

anxiety disorder.

Sleep disturbance:

restless legs syndrome;

apnea (respiratory arrest) in sleep;

daytime sleepiness;

insomnia;

nightmares, accompanied by motor activity.

Visual impairment:

difficult to navigate in the twilight;

difficult to adapt to changing lighting;

color sensitivity deteriorates;

visual illusions appear.

About Medigap program: The 2019 medicare advantage plans offer coverage options for coinsurance as well as copay for senior citizens who’re living in the US.