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Diagnosing Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease in Northern California

A hand tremor (shaking hands) is the most common and well-known early sign of Parkinson’s disease. However, not all cases of shaky hands are due to Parkinson’s. That’s why it’s essential to see your doctor, preferably a neurologist, to get find out whether you’re experiencing Parkinson’s disease symptoms or the signs of another condition.

Neurologists at Dignity Health North State will evaluate your symptoms to rule out other possible causes of hand tremors. Find a Doctor today to address your parkinson’s disease symptoms in Northern California at any of our locations:


Early Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Movement difficulty is the most common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Early signs of Parkinson’s may be very mild and affect only one side of the body. They may include: 

  • Hand, arm, leg, foot, face, or voice tremors
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Muscle rigidity in the arms, legs, or trunk
  • Slow movement

As the disease progresses, Parkinson’s symptoms like hand tremors and difficulty walking become more noticeable and start to get in the way of daily activities like cooking and eating.


Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis at Dignity Health North State

Many other disorders share symptoms with Parkinson’s disease. There is also no specific test to diagnose many brain and nervous system disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. This means it can be challenging to get a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

In general, your doctor will rule out other possible causes for your symptoms before diagnosing you with Parkinson’s disease. A Parkinson’s diagnosis may include:

  • Medical history and family history of Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders
  • Medication history to check that your symptoms do not result from drug side effects
  • Physical examination to assess muscle tone, balance, and gait
  • Imaging studies, including a recently approved scan called a DaTscan, which can differentiate Parkinson’s disease from essential tremor — a much more common movement problem associated with hand tremors and other tremors
  • Trying a medication to see if Parkinson’s symptoms improve

Neurologists at Dignity Health North State will take a thorough approach to evaluate Parkinson’s disease symptoms and make an accurate Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Then, your doctor will work with you to offer an appropriate, personalized Parkinson’s disease treatment.

Dignity Health North State cares for the mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of patients experiencing Parkinson’s disease symptoms in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.