An Early Sign of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a neurological condition caused by loss of brain cells in a critical area of the brain.

Parkinson’s is a neurological condition caused by loss of brain cells in a critical area of the brain.

Small changes to handwriting can be the first sign of Parkinson’s disease, research finds.

People with Parkinson’s often notice their handwriting becoming smaller and more cramped together.

It may also be more difficult to write for longer periods of time.

The changes are caused by the onset of muscle stiffness in the hands and fingers caused by Parkinson’s.

Other symptoms of Parkinson’s include stiff limbs and problems standing or walking.

The conclusions come from a study of 40 adults, half of whom were known to be in the first stages of Parkinson’s disease.

They were asked to write their names and copy some addresses.

Computer analysis of their handwriting was able to determine with 97.5% accuracy who had a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Along with smaller writing and pressing down more softly, people with Parkinson’s spent longer with their pen in the air.

Professor Sara Rosenblum, the study’s first author, explained:

“This finding is particularly important because while the patient holds the pen in the air, his mind is planning his next action in the writing process, and the need for more time reflects the subject’s reduced cognitive ability.

Changes in handwriting can occur years before a clinical diagnosis and therefore can be an early signal of the approaching disease.”

Professor Rosenblum continued:

“Identifying the changes in handwriting could lead to an early diagnosis of the illness and neurological intervention at a critical moment.”

The study was published in the Journal of Neurology (Rosenblum et al., 2013).

 

An Early Sign Of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a long-term neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with movement, including a characteristic shaking.

Parkinson’s is a long-term neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with movement, including a characteristic shaking.

Constipation is an early sign of Parkinson’s disease, research reveals.

It can start up to a decade before eventual diagnosis.

The first signs of the disease — including constipation — are often seen between the ages of 50 and 60.

Parkinson’s is a long-term neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with movement, including a characteristic shaking.

Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut and spread through the vagus nerve, which connects the gut to the brain.

Dr Elisabeth Svensson, the study’s first author, said:

“Patients with Parkinson’s disease are often constipated many years before they receive the diagnosis, which may be an early marker of the link between neurologic and gastroenterologic pathology related to the vagus nerve.”

The study included 14,833 people who had had their vagus nerve cut to treat ulcers.

The results showed that their risk of developing Parkinson’s was halved over 20 years.

The study suggests that Parkinson’s disease starts in the gut and spreads through the vagus nerve.

Dr Svensson said:

“We have conducted a registry study of almost 15,000 patients who have had the vagus nerve in their stomach severed.

Between approximately 1970-1995 this procedure was a very common method of ulcer treatment.

If it really is correct that Parkinson’s starts in the gut and spreads through the vagus nerve, then these vagotomy patients should naturally be protected against developing Parkinson’s disease.”

The cause of Parkinson’s is still unknown, although it is believed to be combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The study was published in the journal Annals of Neurology (Svensson et al., 2015).