Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that causes the breakdown of cells in the nervous system. The 5 stages of PD are as follows:
Symptoms at this stage are mild and do not interfere with daily activities.
- Movement symptoms (such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia) affecting just one side of the body (unilateral)
- Mild problems with posture and balance
- Slight difficulty walking
- Mild changes in facial expressions
Symptoms at this stage become worse, making daily activities more difficult. The person is, however, able to look after themselves.
- Movement symptoms (such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia) affect both sides of the body (bilateral)
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty balancing
- Poor posture
- Reduced facial expressions
Symptoms at this stage (mid-stage) are more severe than those of stage II. However, the person is still independent.
Loss of balance and bradykinesia (slowness of movements) are the hallmark symptoms of this stage. Daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing are significantly impaired.
Independent living is almost impossible at this stage due to limitations in daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, sleeping, and waking.
The person may be able to stand on their own but need assistance for moving around. A walker may help in the movement without falling.
Symptoms at this debilitating stage become so severe that even standing on one's own may be impossible. The person becomes bedridden and needs a wheelchair to be moved around.
All daily activities are impaired, requiring a round-the-clock caregiver. Symptoms may include:
What are symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Movement symptoms mainly include:
- Rigidity (stiffness)
- Bradykinesia (slowness of movements)
- Tremors (involuntary or uncontrolled movements of body parts)
- Problems with posture and balancing
- Problems with walking or moving around
Non-movement symptoms may include:
How is Parkinson’s disease treated?
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, symptoms can be managed with treatment, particularly in the early stages. Treatment of PD mainly involves:
- Medications (such as carbidopa, levodopa, dopamine agonists, COMT inhibitors, MAO B inhibitors, amantadine, and anticholinergics)
- Physical therapy and exercises
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Doctors may advise deep brain stimulation surgery for advanced PD. The procedure involves surgically implanting electrodes into a specific part of the brain. A generator is implanted near the collarbone to send electrical pulses to the brain through the electrodes.
- Another surgical procedure involves inserting a tube in the small intestine to deliver a gel formulation of carbidopa/levodopa (Duopa™).
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Are the 5 Stages of Parkinson’s Disease Related Articles
How Do You Get Parkinson's Disease?Parkinson's disease results from a lack of dopamine production in the brain, affecting a person's physical and mental abilities. Learn what the causes and symptoms are of Parkinson's and how to best treat it.
Is Dystonia a Form of Parkinson's?Dystonia can be one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD is a long-term neurological movement disorder with various symptoms ranging from slowness of movement (bradykinesia), rigidity of muscles, tremor, loss of balance, memory impairment, personality changes and others.
What Neurological Disorders Cause Loss of Bladder Control?Loss of bladder control is urinary incontinence. Severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine while straining, coughing or sneezing to having a frequent sudden urge to urinate. The causes of neurologic urinary incontinence include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, brain tumor, spinal injury and heavy metal poisoning.
Parkinson's DiseaseParkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest, slowing of voluntary movements, a gait with short accelerating steps, peculiar posture and muscle weakness, caused by degeneration of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, and by low production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most patients are over 50, but at least 10 percent are under 40.
Parkinson's Disease Clinical TrialsBefore participating in a clinical trial for Parkinson's disease consider the risks and the benefits. You should know about who is eligible and what the necessary precautions are. Find out more in this article all about Parkinson's disease clinical trials.
Parkinson's Disease: Eating RightEating a well-balanced and nutritional diet is very beneficial to people with Parkinson's disease. With a proper diet, our bodies work more efficiently and it is especially helpful because Parkinson's disease medications will work properly.
Parkinson's SlideshowDiscover the symptoms, causes, stages, and treatment options for Parkinson's disease. Learn more about the stages of Parkinson's disease such as tremors and loss of muscle control.
Parkinson's QuizParkinson's disease is common among neurodegenerative disorders. Do you know how it works? The causes? The symptoms? Take the Parkinson’s Disease Quiz to Test your knowledge of Parkinson's.
What Is the Best Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease?Parkinson's disease is the deterioration of brain nerves that control movement. Learn what medical treatments can help ease your Parkinson's disease symptoms and speed up your recovery.