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What are the stages of Parkinson’s Disease?

What are the stages of Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) impacts people in different ways. Not everyone will experience all the symptoms of PD; even if people do, they won’t necessarily experience the symptoms in quite the same order or at the same intensity.

The Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) staging system is a five-stage scale that is used to describe the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). The stages are based on the severity of the motor symptoms, such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and impaired balance.

  • Stage 1: Symptoms are mild and only affect one side of the body.

  • Stage 2: Symptoms are more pronounced and affect both sides of the body. Balance may be slightly impaired.

  • Stage 3: Symptoms are moderate and significantly affect daily activities. Balance is impaired and falls may occur.

  • Stage 4: Symptoms are severe and make it difficult to walk or care for oneself. Balance is severely impaired and falls are frequent.

  • Stage 5: Symptoms are very severe and require 24-hour care. The person may be bedridden or confined to a wheelchair.

It is important to note that the H&Y staging system is a clinical tool that is used to describe the progression of PD. It does not predict how long a person will live or how severe their symptoms will become. The rate of progression varies from person to person. Some people may experience a slow progression of symptoms over many years, while others may experience a more rapid decline.

There is no cure for PD, but there are treatments that can help to manage the symptoms. Treatment may include medication, surgery, and physical therapy. The goal of treatment is to improve quality of life and slow the progression of the disease.

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