Health

Parkinson’s disease: How your blinking could be an early indication of your risk


Parkinson’s disease symptoms mainly relate to movement because it involves a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain responsible for producing a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine acts as a messenger between the parts of the brain and nervous system that help control and coordinate body movements. If these nerve cells die or become damaged, the amount of dopamine in the brain is reduced. The amount of blinking a person does could be a sign they may be at risk.

Some Parkinson’s patients may find that they blink less often than they’re used to.

Most people usually blink around 17 times every minute, accord to the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA).

But, if you have Parkinson’s, you may find that it “substantially” reduces over time.

There’s no set limit to how often Parkinson’s patients blink in a minute, but if you’re blinking less than normal, you should consider speaking to a doctor.

When to seek medical advice

“See your GP if you’re concerned you may have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” advises the NHS.

It is important to alert your GP sooner rather than later as evidence shows you can slow down its progression by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Exercise is one of the most effective measures you can take to delay its progression.

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation (PF), exercise can assist in maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities, along with a potential “neuroprotective” effect.

In fact, there is a growing consensus among researchers about the short and long-term benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s.

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