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When should I call my doctor if I have Parkinson's disease?

If you have Parkinson's disease you should call your doctor when you first experience symptoms of the disease, if your symptoms worsen and/or if you notice new, additional symptoms.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive disorder of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that causes brain cells to die that are involved with normal movement and coordination. As the disease progresses it can cause wide-ranging symptoms including:
  • shaking, tremors and difficulty moving normally
  • loss of balance and/or fainting
  • muscle aches, pains and rigidity
  • difficulty swallowing
  • drooling
  • lack of normal facial expressions
  • emotional symptoms including anxiety, stress, tension or depression
  • cognitive symptoms such as confusion, dementia and/or memory loss
Your doctor can do a physical examination and order tests to diagnose your condition. If you have Parkinson's disease, your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine and/or refer you for surgery that may improve your symptoms. You can also work with your doctor to help you establish lifestyle habits that could help you cope with Parkinson's disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.