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The symptoms that are present during Parkinson’s Disease tend to vary for each individual. Generally, symptoms begin with smaller motor and non-motor impairments that, on their own seem insignificant, however when viewed in totality can lead to a positive Parkinson’s diagnosis.
The diagram below provides a summary of some of the most common motor and non-motor Parkinson’s symptoms that appear consistently during the course of the disease. These impairments may vary in their degree of severity and rate of progression for each individual.
5 Stages of Parkinson’s
The medical community have been able to agree on a common path of progression that Parkinson’s follows. Doctors use this clinical rating scale to characterize the movement and non-movement symptoms of PD, how severe they are, and their impact on a person’s daily activities.
Symptoms are only seen on one side of the body.
- Tremor in one hand
- Rigidity and stiffness in posture
- Clumsy leg
- Lack of expression on one side of face
- Small handwriting
Symptoms are prevalent on both sides of the body.
- Lack of facial expression on both sides
- Decreased blinking
- Speech abnormalities including soft-talking, garbled speech, intermittent stuttering
- Rigidity of muscles in the trunk impacting posture
Symptoms are characterized by loss of balance and slowness of movement.
- Loss of balance
- Inability to make the rapid, automatic, and involuntary adjustments
- Impact on activities of daily living
- Posture worsens and patient begins to shuffle when walking
Symptoms are severely disabling.
- Mobility issues that may require a walker or assistance
- Requires help with daily activities like getting dressed, eating, grooming, etc
- Worsening posture
- Patient unable to live independently
Symptoms are characterized by an inability to rise up.
- Advanced stiffness in the legs may cause freezing, making it impossible to walk
- Falling when standing or turning
- Difficulty speaking and reduced cognitive abilities
- Hallucinations, delusions and dementia
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