“Beyond the tremor: A look at the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease” (APDA)

“Beyond the tremor: A look at the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease” (APDA)


Since Parkinson’s disease (PD) is known as a movement disorder, the non-motor symptoms can often be overlooked.  Common non-motor symptoms can include depression and anxiety, sleep issues, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, sexual issues, and more.  The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) recently published a list of resources on these non-motor symptoms in PD. 

From the American Parkinson Disease Association, December 14, 2020

Many people associate Parkinson’s disease (PD) with the visible symptoms that have become trademarks of the disease – most commonly tremor, but also rigidity, gait problems/shuffling, and balance issues to name a few (also known as motor symptoms.) Because PD is known as a movement disorder, the non-motor symptoms can often be overlooked; yet there are several common PD symptoms that do not primarily involve movement. If you, or someone in your life has PD, it is important to be aware of the non-motor symptoms as these can greatly affect quality of life, but if addressed early can often be treated and minimized.

Common non-motor symptoms can include depression and anxiety, sleep issues, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, sexual issues, and more. Remember, every person with PD experiences the disease differently so you may or may not experience some of these symptoms; but APDA is here to help you know what to look for.

Non-motor symptom overviewThis list is a great place to start to help you better understand the many non-motor symptoms of PD.

Is this a symptom of PD? It can be tricky to know what is and what isn’t a symptom of PD since the list of non-motor symptoms is so varied – it can seem that almost anything is a symptom of PD! Learn more about the non-motor symptoms that are commonly associated with PD and those that are lesser known, but still important to be aware of.

A deeper dive: APDA has many educational publications that take a deeper dive into some of the more common and potentially troublesome non-motor symptoms. All of our materials are available for free and are available in Spanish as well. You can download them directly from our website, or you can request that we send you hard copies in the mail. Here are a few popular ones (visit our website for the full list):

Talking to your Doctor about Mental Health:  Perhaps you’ve noticed some mental health changes (i.e., cognitive issues, depression, anxiety), but you feel awkward or embarrassed to bring it up to your doctor. This fact sheet can help you have that conversation so that your medical team can help you improve.

Participate in a clinical trial: If you’re interested in getting involved and learning more about clinical trials for PD non-motor symptoms, you can visit clinicaltrials.gov.

If you have friends or family who might benefit from this information, please consider forwarding this message to them. Be sure to follow APDA on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay informed and updated on any new developments.

As always, you can also reach out via our APDA helpline at (800-223-2732).  We are here for you!