With Parkinson’s disease, abnormal movements like jerking, twisting, writhing, or fidgeting are out of a person’s control. They’re described as dyskinesia and may occur over the whole body or only a single part, like an arm or leg or the head or trunk. They can also affect speaking and breathing muscles.
When imagining these movements, it’s important to keep in mind that their severity varies greatly from person to person. Also, not everyone with Parkinson’s experiences dyskinesia. It is often a result of long-term levodopa (also called L-dopa) use, the most effective medication for treating Parkinson’s symptoms. Factors like age, duration of disease, treatment dosage, and genetics also play a role.
While dyskinesia is an unfortunate side effect of Parkinson’s treatment, there are effective ways to manage it: Both pharmaceutical and day-to-day strategies have helped thousands of people improve their quality of life. Before delving into these options, it’s important to clear any confusion around the term “dyskinesia,” its common manifestations, and related conditions. Empower yourself by understanding the differences.