Learn about each stage of Parkinson’s and the symptoms associated with it.
Parkinson’s is a progressive, incurable disease, which means that the symptoms become more pronounced and worsen over time. The onset and progress of Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the presence of a number of symptoms and early warning signs. Some of these symptoms may be nonspecific such as fatigue, shoulder pain or localized aches. Other specific symptoms include:
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease which progresses in stages characterized by the appearance and worsening of certain symptoms. Most Parkinson’s doctors who specialize in treating this brain disorder use the Hoehn and Yahr rating scale to define the symptoms, their severity and the stage of progression of the disease.
At this earliest level of Parkinson’s, it is possible that most of the mild symptoms are dismissed as anomalies or missed altogether. Any tremors or movement problems are generally limited to one side of the body during the first stage of the disease. The symptoms present are mild, and not pronounced enough to actually affect the day-to-day living and activities of the patient. At this initial stage, family and friends may notice minor changes such as slightly imbalanced gait, rigid facial expressions and poor posture.
If you notice a few of the early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease and get medical help immediately, prescription medicines are known to effectively reduce the symptoms of stage 1 mild Parkinson’s disease.
Considered the moderate stage of Parkinson’s disease, the symptoms become more visible and pronounced during the second stage. Affecting the patient bilaterally i.e. on both sides of the body, symptoms like stiffness, trembling and tremors become noticeable. The completion of normal physical tasks takes much longer than usual due to muscular stiffness. Speech difficulties and changes in cadence also become noticeable during this stage.
The progression of Parkinson’s from stage 1 to stage 2 may take a long time, several months or even a few years. The speed at which the disease progresses differs from individual to individual.
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