Q:

What are the symptoms and stages of Parkinson's disease?

A:

Quick Answer

Parkinson's disease has five stages. With each stage, patients experience a progression of symptoms, ranging from mild tremors and movement problems in the initial stage to being incapacitated and needing nursing care in the final stage. However, the progression of Parkinson's disease symptoms can vary in patients and some may never experience symptoms associated with the final stage, as noted by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

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Full Answer

In the initial stage of Parkinson's disease, a patient can exhibit symptoms, such as shaky limbs and changes in facial expression and walking ability. These symptoms tend to develop on one side of the body. With the progression of the disease, symptoms in the second stage are uncontrollable tremors, muscle stiffness and movement problems that affect both sides of the body. Patients in stage two of the disease can move more slowly, and have issues with balance and coordination, as noted by WebMD.

From stage three through five, walking and other types of movements becomes more difficult. In stage four, a patient's ability to perform daily simple tasks is compromised, notes Healthline. Patients may also need a walker, and they may find it difficult to live alone without some assistance. In the final stage, a patient may need a wheelchair and may fall more easily. There can also be other symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.

Although Parkinson's disease is progressive and incurable, medications can help slow down the progression of symptoms. This is a disease that affects the nervous system, and scientists do not fully know what causes it.

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