What is a Bradykinesia?

Physicians define Bradykinesia as a neurological condition that appears as an early symptom of Parkinsons Disease. Results in slower, less responsive motor skills. Patients with Bradykinesia will have a difficult time initiating simple movements, such as standing up. They will also present with slower than usual automatic movements such as blinking or moving their arms when walking. Neurologists require a patient present both Bradykinesia and a tremor or stiffness to make a full Parkinsons diagnosis.

What are the Symptoms of Bradykinesia?

The symptoms of bradykinesia include slower than usual motor functions. However, some other symptoms can frequently appear with the condition. These symptoms include:

  • shuffling feet when walking
  • having difficulty making facial expressions
  • muscle reactions may slow to the point that the muscles become immobile, or freeze, for some amount of time
  • difficulty with repetitive tasks, such as tapping fingers or clapping hands
  • difficulty getting ready for the day (e.g., brushing teeth, buttoning clothes, styling hair)

For those living with Parkinson’s disease, bradykinesia will cause patients to lose their ability to speak clearly. Their voices will soften over time, and they will have a difficult time making their voices clearly understood.

What are the Treatment Options for Bradykinesia?

Treatment varies based on the underlying cause. In Parkinson’s disease, treatments may include:

  • Medications: Dopamine-replacement medications can help manage symptoms by increasing dopamine levels in the brain.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercise and stretching can help maintain muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to improve daily living activities and fine motor skills.
  • Deep Brain Stimulation: Surgical procedure that involves implanting a device to stimulate specific areas of the brain.

If you or someone you know is experiencing bradykinesia or related symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice. A healthcare provider, such as a neurologist, can accurately diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment strategies to manage the condition and improve daily functioning.