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"Is the tremor in my hand a sign that I might have Parkinson's?"
There is a wiggle or tremor in the pinky finger on my left hand. I'm a healthy 30 year old female but it is beginning to worry me. Is this an early sign of Parkinson's disease? Are there any kind of tests a doctor could run to see if I might have Parkinson's?
Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain, in which the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine (which help control muscle movement) are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells cannot properly send messages leading to the loss of muscle function. The exact cause is unknown and there is no known cure for Parkinson's disease. Early symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be mild at first. Tremor is typically an early symptom that usually begins occasionally in one finger that spreads over time to involve the whole arm. The tremor is often rhythmic (4 to 5 cycles per second) that is prominent when the hand is at rest or held up in a stiff unsupported position and usually disappears briefly when you move the hand to do something. The tremor may extend to the leg or foot on the same side and sometime to the lips and jaw. At the beginning of Parkinson's disease the tremors are unilateral (on only one side of the body), but later they appear on both sides. Do you have other early signs and symptoms, such as muscle rigidity, slow movements known as bradykinesia, problems with balance, a "facial mask" that's devoid of emotional expression, speech impairment, or anosmia (a loss of the sense of smell), etc.? However, you do not need to have all of these signs to be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. No definitive tests exist. A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is established based on your medical history and a neurological examination and a significant improvement with levodopa, a Parkinson's drug. Although there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, medications can help control some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and in some case, surgery may be helpful. It is best that you schedule a visit with a neurologist to be evaluated to arrive an actual diagnosis so that your condition can be treated properly.
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