Parkinson's disease is a chronic condition caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Diagnosis can sometimes take years; knowing symptoms can speed up the process. Step 1: Notice tremors Take note of tremors, the most common and often earliest symptom of Parkinson's disease. Tremors are a steady and rhythmic shaking of the hands or feet. Step 2: Test rigidity Test rigidity. Muscle stiffness is another common symptom. Stretch and move limbs to see if they feel heavy or weak. Tip Check for a decrease in facial expressions, as this is also an indicator of rigidity. Step 3: Look for bradykinesia Look for a noticeable slowness in movement, known as bradykinesia. Movement may also be incomplete or hard to start. Step 4: Test balance Test the difficulty of keeping balanced with a gentle push. Parkinson's disease can cause postural instability, which leads to loss of balance. Tip Check for a bent-forward posture when standing. This adds to the loss of balance. Step 5: Look for loss in automatic movements Look for a loss in automatic movements, such as blinking or swallowing. Parkinson's disease reduces many functions that are normally unconscious. Step 6: See a doctor If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor for a thorough examination. Did You Know? Did you know? Parkinson's disease does not only affect the elderly. Ten percent of Parkinson's patients are 40 years or younger.