There’s a site called VIARTIS that I visit frequently to find out news about Parkinson’s Disease reports, research and general information. Yesterday I read an article on Viartis that discussed handedness and how that can affect the side of the body that will display Parkinson’s Disease symptoms first.
The study described in this article associates handedness (or the preference of hand we use and is most dominate) to the side of symptom dominance in Parkinson’s Disease. Now I find this fascinating because my tremors started on my right side and I’m right handed. All of those “drawing in a spiral to measure my free-handed tremors” while at the neurologist causes anxiety each time I have to do it with my right hand. In fact, now I hold my right hand with my left hand when I write or use the mouse on the computer. There’s nothing like a mouse veering all over the site during a training webinar I offer to my customers! Unfortunately, the neurologist won’t let me hold my right hand with my left when drawing those darned spirals, so I just wiggle and jiggle all over the page.
This study showed that, in general, the dominant hand was the first one to have the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. In the study, 77% of the people that were right-handed had Parkinson’s symptoms on that dominant right side. Of those who were left-handed, 58% of them had Parkinson’s symptoms that were dominant on the left side. The right-handed people had rest tremor as the most common initial symptom while the left-handed people had rigidity, rest tremor and bradykinesia as the most common first symptom.
Which side of your body were the Parkinson’s symptoms showing first? Is that the side of your body with the dominant hand?