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Tremors, Parkinson's disease and disability

Tremors can have a number of causes: cold or flu, low blood sugar, fever or drinking too much caffeine. Even a slight case of nervousness could lead to tremors. But, is there ever a reason to be concerned? Can tremors be an early sign of Parkinson's?

Parkinson's is a debilitating disease that attacks the nervous system. Patients in California who are diagnosed with Parkinson's are often unable to work and may require Social Security disability assistance. There are more than 60,000 new cases of Parkinson's diagnosed every year and more than 1 million Americans have been diagnosed. The rate of progression varies and the disease is more common among men over fifty. Many people can live for years without serious disability.

A tremor is any repetitive, involuntary shaking of a body part. Since there are other medical problems that may cause tremors, you should pay attention to the kind of tremor you are experiencing.

  • A resting tremor can happen when you are relaxed
  • Postural tremors may occur when you try to maintain a balanced position
  • Action tremors affect you when you move with intent

A resting tremor is an early sign of Parkinson's and affects control over movements as neurons in the brain lose the ability to produce dopamine, which regulates movement and emotion. Ten to 20 percent of Parkinson's patients do not experience tremors. Other symptoms of Parkinson's may include slowed movements, weakness, stiffness, rigidity and balance issues. Symptoms may also affect mood, sensory ability, memory and thinking as well as your automatic nervous system (heart rate or breathing).

If you believe that you may be suffering symptoms of Parkinson's, you should consult with a medical professional. If you have undiagnosed tremors, you can consult with a doctor about possible causes and treatment. An experienced legal professional can help you collect Social Security disability when necessary.

Source: Richmond Times Dispatch, "Wellness: Do tremors mean Parkinson's disease?" Jim Mumper, Aug. 5, 2012.

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