ZocdocAnswersIs this a symptom of Parkinson's disease?

Question

Is this a symptom of Parkinson's disease?

I live with an older uncle (he is 64) and he has fallen down suddenly a few times over the last month or so. He said he is just off balance but I'm scared it is Parkinson's disease or something. Is falling a lot a symptom of Parkinson's?

Answer

It is always concerning when someone begins experiencing trouble with their balance. When a person starts having falls, there is a much greater risk of injury including broken bones and head bleeds. Parkinson's disease is a disease of movement that involves the brain and how it communicates with the body's muscle. There are many symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but the most common ones include a slow steady tremor (usually of one hand), and slow movements. These slow movements and tremor can make someone be a bit off balance. Therefore people with Parkinson's disease are more likely to have a problem with falls. However, there are so many more reasons why someone would fall, Parkinson's is not the first condition that would come to mind. Dizziness for any reason can be a cause of a fall. Pain in the joints or weakness in the muscles can make a fall more likely. Being off balance can be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency and other problems with the brain and spinal cord. What your father needs is to be evaluated by his primary care physician. He or she can perform a thorough physical exam and determine what the next best step is. Good luck.

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