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Signs & Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease


The most recognizable symptom of Parkinson’s disease is shaky hands, or hand tremors.

At Dignity Health, our neurologists provide personal care to evaluate signs and symptoms and provide accurate diagnoses. If you suspect you have Parkinson’s disease symptoms in the Bay Area, use our search tool and Find a Doctor.

Identifying Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

In the early stages of Parkinson’s, symptoms are often mild and only affect one side of the body. Later on, physical signs may include hand tremors and changes in walking (gait) patterns. These symptoms can interfere or limit daily activities, such as cooking and eating.

The primary signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • Hand, arm, leg, foot, face, or voice tremors
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Rigid muscles in the arms, legs, or trunk
  • Slow movement

These signs are also associated with other movement disorders, so it’s important to get a diagnosis from an experienced neurologist.

Parkinson’s Diagnosis at Dignity Health

There’s no specific test for Parkinson’s disease, but Dignity Health doctors perform evaluations and the latest diagnostic imaging studies to determine a diagnosis.

Your doctor may perform one or more of the following when diagnosing Parkinson’s disease:

  • Evaluation of your medical and family history
  • Imaging tests, such as brain ultrasound and MRI, PET, or SPECT scans, to tell the difference between Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor
  • Medication history to rule out symptoms from drug side effects
  • Medication trial to see if established therapies can improve symptoms
  • Physical examination of your muscle tone, gait, and balance

Once a diagnosis has been reached, your doctor can create a personalized care plan that meets your needs and preferences. Learn more about treatment options.

Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.