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& Stages

Parkinson’s Symptoms

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.

Parkinson's Symptoms Chart

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.

Stage One

Symptoms are only seen on one side of the body.

Symptoms Include:

  • Tremor in one hand
  • Rigidity and stiffness in posture
  • Clumsy leg
  • Lack of expression on one side of face
  • Small handwriting

Stage Two

Symptoms are prevalent on both sides of the body.

Symptoms Include:

  • 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

Stage Three

Symptoms are characterized by loss of balance and slowness of movement.

Symptoms Include:

  • 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

Stage Four

Symptoms are severely disabling.

Symptoms Include:

  • 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

Stage Five

Symptoms are characterized by an inability to rise up.

Symptoms Include:

  • 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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