While Kremlin officials repeatedly deny any ill health speculations imposed on Russian President Vladimir Putin, the 69-year old leader remains under scrutiny due to footage showing signs that might suggest otherwise. From hand tremors to wheezing his way through a “confused” speech threatening the West with nuclear weapons, some experts have postulated Putin could be showing early signs of Parkinson’s.
Recent footage, combined with his behaviour towards diplomats and politicians, has caused everyone from western doctors to physicians and body language experts to conduct anaylses on the Russian President’s physical and mental state.
Concerns have only increased as the invasion of Ukraine has continued, with Putin’s plan to take over Kyiv “in days” stretching over two months. For a man once considered a master strategist, the faltering plan would be particularly out of character.
While Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov argues Putin’s health is “excellent”, recent public appearances have rekindled speculation due to the prominence of “exhaustion” and “trembling hands”.
According to The Sun, former KGB agent Boris Karpichkov has most recently professed his thoughts the Russian leader could be suffering from “numerous health conditions” judging from how he moves, but what exactly are the signs of Parkinson’s and how are these correlating with Putin?
What are the signs indicating Putin is suffering from Parkinson’s?
Most footage is leading experts to speculate the Russian President might be suffering from early signs of Parkinson’s.
Mayo Clinic lists typical signs of Parkinson’s to include:
- Slowed movement
- Impaired posture and balance
- Speech changes
- Loss of automatic movements, such as blinking or swinging arms
- Writing changes
Out of the seven listed, Putin appears to have recently exercised four of them, with the addition of two typical signs typically associated with dementia including paranoia and confusion.
He said: “He sees literally everyone, including those inside the Russian security services and even inside his close inner circle, to be ‘traitors’.
“He is so suspicious and so obsessed with his paranoia ideas that he can be now compared with Stalin.”
On the other hand, numerous medical experts have commented the Russian leader isn’t showing enough accurate signs of the illness to diagnose him.
According to The Mirror, John Hardy, a neurogeneticist at the UK Dementia Research Institute told German news platform Deutsche Welle: “No sign of parkinsonism in my view…he did not look well…but not Parkinson’s disease.”
Ray Chadhuri, a neurologist at the University of London, agreed, saying: “Bloating of [the] face or tremors can be caused by many reasons.”
Caroline Rassell, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, echoed Mr Hardy and Mr Chadhuri, saying Parkinson’s is a complex condition with over 40 symptoms ranging from physical to mental, making it impossible to diagnose via a 12-minute video clip.
Ms Rassell said: “It affects everyone differently.
“With no definitive diagnostic test, it’s something that can only be confirmed after examination by a neurologist or specialist.”