How do you know if you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease? A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can be made by a health care provider, but there are several symptoms that can be early warning signs. Having one of these symptoms is usually not a cause for worry, but if you or a loved one shows more than one sign, it’s time to see a doctor.

The physicians at Mischer Neuroscience Associates, affiliated with Memorial Hermann Health System, share early warning signs that you should not ignore.



Slight shaking or movement in your finger, hand, chin, lip or leg while you are at rest


Trouble Moving or Walking

Stiffness in your arms, legs, shoulders or hips, or stiffness swinging your arms while walking

Loss of Smell 

Loss of Smell 

A new loss of smell, either partial or complete, especially when smelling foods such as bananas, dill pickles or licorice


Trouble Sleeping 

Sudden movements while asleep, including thrashing around, kicking and punching, or falling out of bed


Smaller Handwriting

A sudden change in the way you write with pen or pencil, especially if you begin writing smaller letters than usual or crowding words together

Soft Voice 

A Soft or Low Voice 

A change in the sound of your voice that is softer than usual or is hoarse



Difficulty or straining to empty your bowels

Masked Face 

Masked Face 

An expression on your face that does not match your mood, including having a serious, depressed or mad look when you are feeling happy. This can also include blank stares or reduced blinking.


Stooping or Hunching Over

Changes in your posture, including leaning, slouching or not standing up as straight as you normally do


Dizziness or Fainting 

Feeling dizzy or faint when you stand up, which may indicate low blood pressure, can be linked to Parkinson’s disease.


To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, please visit What is Parkinson’s Disease?

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