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Parkinson’s Disease Stages
The Progression of Parkinson's
Parkinson’s Disease Has Five Specific Stages
Parkinson’s symptom stages begin with the mildest and progress to the most severe.
At this stage, although the early signs of Parkinson’s are noticeable, they do not yet obstruct daily activities. The early signs of Parkinson’s may include small tremors or other involuntary movements, decreased motor skills, small or condensed handwriting, changes in posture, and facial expression. Parkinson’s tremor begins during stage one, but it is generally restricted to one side of the body (unilateral).
Symptoms are now more noticeable than they were in stage one. Tremors may be worse, and symptoms may now affect both sides of the body. Walking may become more difficult due to changes in posture. Some people with Parkinson’s develop a mask-like, expressionless face. This condition is known as hypomimia. The face is noticeably less animated. Although daily activities may become more challenging, sufferers can still live independently.
At this stage, movements become much slower, and there are issues with balance. Falling becomes a problem at this stage and sufferers are unable to make automatic movements to prevent or break a fall. Diagnosis is no longer in doubt at this stage.
By this stage, Parkinson’s has become a chronically disabling condition. Although sufferers may be able to walk unassisted, it is very difficult, and many will need to rely on a walking frame. At stage four, sufferers will be unable to perform many daily tasks and may no longer be able to live alone.
This is the final stage of Parkinson’s disease. Sufferers are no longer able to stand from sitting or get out of bed without assistance. Walking is increasingly difficult and suffers often stumble or freeze when moving around. Parkinson’s psychosis often occurs during this stage including hallucinations or delusions. 24/7 care is now required.