Symptoms of PMR similar to some with Parkinsons ?

Hello everyone on this my 'favourite' forum for all aspects and issues re PMR & GCA

I was just reading an article about Parkinsons disease - about which I know relatively little - although the article I was reading is rather optimistically entitled: 'A Complete Explanation For Parkinson's Disease... and How to Fix It

' and could easily be found on the web as part of a large website on the subject - whether this is a 'good' site I will let others decide. But I was interested to note in the article this comment:

'The ability to rotate and tilt the head is lost and the neck becomes extremely stiff and painful. The ability to raise the arms is lost and shoulders become painful and frozen' [and]...' The ability to experience positive emotional states, and to read these in the faces of others, is lost and anti-socialness increases, leading to feelings of isolation'

I am sure many of us with PMR relate (pre-Pred at least) to the former and many also to the latter - which are only a few of the symptoms this author discusses.

Obviously people with PMR and Parkinsons have many other (or lack of many other) symptoms which differentiate these diseases greatly but in the 'first' instance they could possibly be mistaken as symptoms of the 'other' or could also at least co-exist of course.

Anyway for those who may be interested you might like to click your way to the article in question and I'd f course be appreciative for any comments from forum members too.

Best wishes


10 Replies

  • The symptom that fails to experience positive mental states and fails to recognise them in others sounds particularly cruel. Towards the end of her life my mother was in a nursing home 5 minutes from me ( frontal lobe dementia)and there were a number of advanced stage Parkinson's sufferers in the facility . I made a relationship with a couple of them who made a deep impression on me. I found them feisty and characterful. One lady in particular would call my husband , who is a tall slim man, " You great pillow of a man" if he impeded her relentless progress in any way. They were impactful people who didn't appear to be as isolated as advanced dementia sufferers, who just sat in their own worlds really.

  • Thanks for your response SheffieldJane- how interesting - if as you explain very 'sad' - i have not met or personally know anyone with a diagnosis of 'Parkinsons' although my own mother in her 'old age' had what one doctor described at the time as some 'parkinsonian symptoms' - although she had many other more severe or obvious health issues - including, I have recently realised, undiagnosed GCA.

  • As a qualification I should say that the latter symptom I was thinking of as more like or in terms of generalised 'depression' than perhaps more specifically the 'inability' to read or express emotions. Anyway the former symptoms of neck/shoulder pain and stiffness and inability to raise arms is, as far as I know, very common in many people with PMR.


  • Yes ? There is that commonality with a number of conditions. I got happier on Pred. 🙂

  • Hi. Three old mates have Parkinsons! Took a long time for diagnosis. Don't think it's clear to pick up! All have different medical problems. Know them well & the difference in personality I can see. But they would probably say that about myself too!

  • My mom had Parkinson's and ended up dying 25 years after diagnosis with Parkinson's dementia. I've had GCA/PMR for 2 years now. She always had a fear of getting trapped in a top that had to be pulled over her head. There have been a few times I have felt like that while dressing as well. I can see some overlap of symptoms. Some of them might be do to the age we have reached when these diseases appear. I have hope that someday I will be totally free of GCA/PMR where she never had that hope. I think some of aura she projected of being disinterested in what was happening around her was her extreme stiffness and also the unresponsiveness of her facial muscles. Your post was very thought provoking. I wish you well on your PMR journey!

  • Hi Betty

    Thanks for your reply - as PMRpro suggests these are two distinct illnesses - but the overlap of some symptoms - especially as we have seen them in our own mothers- is something worth thinking about - especially when it comes to diagnoses which (as we know) are not always straightforward.

  • Hmmm - at least they aren't selling anything. But it is anecdotal - on a sample of one.

    The reasons for the apparently similar symptoms are totally different. In my experience the PMR walk and the PD walk are quite different - and there are many healthcare professionals who say they can diagnose both by watching how their patients walk to the consulting room. I know a few who always fetch their patients themselves - just so they can do a bit of diagnosis before even talking to the patient.

  • The docs have no time to do much different! It's quite unnerving though to be followed down the corridor when you know what they are looking for! Or is it just myself with this one.

  • Hello PMRpro - I'm certainly not into relying on a 'database of one' - this article made these symptoms sound quite common and after having deduced my mother had GCA (she lost a lot of peripheral vision & was never diagnosed) & likely PMR - I also recalled her 'shuffling' walk as similar to the 'classic' PD variety. I daresay - as I mentioned - sometimes people will unfortunately have 'both' - at least there is a better chance of an 'accurate' diagnoses in the 21st Century.

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