The four key 'motor' symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), muscle rigidity or stiffness and postural instability (falls). Generally you must have at bradykinesia plus another of these key symptoms for a diagnosis of Parkinson's to be considered. It is worth noting that in 30% of cases tremor will not be present.
There are also a range of other "non-motor symptoms these may include, small handwriting, no arm swing when walking, shuffling gait, freezing of movement, sleep disorders, cognitive (thinking) changes, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, pain, fatigue, sensory changes and speech changes.
Parkinson's is a very individual condition and each person will experience Parkinson's differently. It will also progress a very different rates with some people remaining relatively stable for many years, or even decades, and others will progress rapidly.
If you want more information ring your local Parkinson's organisation on 1800 644 189 (free call) or see our information sheets which are available at www.parkinsons.org.au.