Paul Sinha reveals Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis: What are the symptoms?

The Chase star Paul Sinha updated fans on his Twitter page with the news, writing further in a blog post. Explaining the events that led to his diagnosis, he wrote: “On the evening of Thursday May 30th, an experienced consultant neurologist calmly informed me that I had Parkinson’s disease. “It was a devastating denouement to a medical odyssey that began in September 2017 with a sudden-onset, frozen right shoulder, and took in an unexpected diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle transformation that enabled me to lose two stone, and a shoulder operation in January this year.” He continued: “Nonetheless my reaction was not one of shock. I spent May this year in New Zealand simultaneously having the comedy month of my life, and worrying about why a right-sided limp was now getting worse.

In the time since my Parkinson’s started I have been ludicrously busy, and fully intend to keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy

Paul Sinha, The Chase

“Behind the facade of the cheerful, late night comedy festival drunk was a man deeply scared about facing the truth when back in the UK.

“It has been a really, really tough two weeks. Cancelling my run at the Edinburgh Fringe, missing the World Quizzing Championships to have brain scans, performing club sets whilst emotionally bewildered, and of course working my way through my loved ones, delivering the bad news.”

Paul then detailed his plan for the coming weeks, and said: “With the diagnosis now confirmed, and a treatment plan in place, I now feel far more prepared for the new challenges ahead.

“In the time since my Parkinson’s started I have been ludicrously busy, and fully intend to keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy, keep quizzing and keep being hopeless at Tasks. Dancing on Ice is, I suspect, out of the question.”

According to figures released by the NHS, one in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Most develop the condition over the age of 50, although one in 20 start to experience symptoms under 40, and men are more likely to get Parkinson’s than women.

What are the signs of Parkinson’s disease?

Symptoms develop gradually and are mild at first, and the order in which symptoms develop and the severity is different for everyone.

There are three main symptoms which affect physical movement, and these are:

  • Tremor – shaking which usually begins in the hand or arm, and is more likely to occur when the limb is resting
  • Slowness of movement – physical movement is slower than normal, leading to a distinctive shuffling walk with very small steps
  • Muscle stiffness – tension in the muscles can make it difficult to move around and make facial expressions. This can result in painful muscle cramps.

There are also other less common signs to look out for. These are

  • Balance problems

  • Loss of sense of smell

  • Nerve pain

  • Problems urinating

  • Constipation

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Sexual dysfunction in women

  • Dizziness, fainting or blurred vision

  • Excessive sweating

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Excessive saliva production

  • Insomnia, which can then lead to sleepiness in the day

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