Parkinson’s disease is a condition that affects nerve cells in deep parts of the brain and over the years causes the brain to become progressively damaged. The three main symptoms of the condition are involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body, known as a tremor, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.
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But it’s also worth looking at other things outside of the body which can be affected by these physical symptoms, such as a person’s handwriting.
For someone with Parkinson’s, Mayo Clinic says it may become hard to write and writing may appear small.
Small, cramped handwriting or the progression to progressively smaller handwriting is known as micrographia.
Parkinson’s Foundation explains: “Handwriting can change as you age, especially if you have stiff hands or fingers, from arthritis or another conditions, or if you have poor vision.
“However, small, cramped handwriting – called micrographia – is characteristic of Parkinson’s and is frequently one of the early symptoms.
“In addition to words being generally small and crowded together, the size of handwriting might get smaller as you continue to write.
“Micrographia is caused by the same processes in the brain that lead to other movement symptoms of the disease.
“In addition, those symptoms – slowness of movement, tremor, rigidity – can all make it harder to write.”
Other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
A person with Parkinson’s disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms, according to the NHS.
- Depression and anxiety
- Balance problems (this may increase the chances of a fall)
- Loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
- Problems sleeping (insomnia)
- Memory problems
If you’re concerned over having any of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, see a GP.
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Ozzy Osbourne recently revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year.
Following the rock star’s announcement, chief executive at Parkinson’s UK Steve Ford issued a statement saying: “Ozzy Osbourne bravely speaking about his Parkinson’s diagnosis and his journey to ‘owning it’ will do much to raise awareness of this much misunderstood condition.
“With more than 40 symptoms, Parkinson’s is unpredictable and undoubtedly throws up new challenges, but with the right treatment and support we can help people to take control of their lives.
“Ozzy is now part of a community of 145,000 people in the UK who live with Parkinson’s and urgently need a breakthrough treatment, which we are getting closer to every day.
“We would encourage people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s to speak to their GP or specialist to explore the best options for treatment and managing their Parkinson’s.
“We wish Ozzy all the best.”
Ozzy was diagnosed with a rare genetic form of Parkinson’s known as Parkin 2.
David Dexter, deputy director of research at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Genetic forms of Parkinson’s account for approximately 8 percent of individuals receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis. The treatment options are similar for idiopathic (non-genetic) and genetic forms of Parkinson’s.”
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