The 5 Stages of Parkinson’s: Stage 1 – Early onset (Early Dementia)
Stage 2 – Late onset (Late Dementia)
Stage 3 – Advanced stage (Advanced Dementia)
Stage 4 – No End in Sight(End Of Life)
1. Early onset (Early Dementia)
In early onset of Parkinson’s disease, there are no obvious signs or symptoms. Usually it takes years before the first symptoms appear. There may be some mild tremor, slowness of movement and difficulty with balance and coordination at this stage. However, these symptoms do not interfere with daily activities such as walking around or even driving a car. The person may have some memory problems and forget things easily.
They may also become confused and disoriented. Sometimes they will experience hallucinations, delusions, paranoia or delusions of grandeur.
2. Late onset (Late Dementia)
At this stage the patient experiences a decline in mental abilities and personality changes. At this point the person loses all ability to think clearly or make decisions for themselves. They may become argumentative or angry for no apparent reason. They may also become scared or express fear and anxiety. The person may develop problems with personal hygiene and begin to resist help from others.
This can lead to depression, aggression and social isolation.
3. Advanced stage (Advanced Dementia)
In the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, the patient experiences a steady decline in all cognitive abilities. They may experience problems with walking, muscle rigidity and tremors. They may also have difficulty speaking and swallowing. As the disease progresses the patient experiences extreme confusion, memory loss, hallucinations and delusions. They will no longer be able to care for themselves and will require round-the-clock supervision.
4. No End in Sight(End Of Life)
This is the final stage of the disease which usually leads to death. There are often complications such as choking, pneumonia or infection due to lack of hygiene. The patient may also suffer a haemorrhage in the brain or a severe stroke.
Death usually occurs as a result of complications from the disease, such as choking, pneumonia or infection. It is not necessarily the result of a stroke or haemorrhage in the brain.
Expert’s Opinion On Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease
There are several theories about what causes Parkinson’s disease, but none of them have been proven yet. Some of the most popular theories include Genetics, Toxin Exposure, Smoking, Head Trauma and Vitamin Deficiency. Our expert review panel weighed all the evidence and here’s their conclusion.
Genetics: No evidence exists that Parkinsons is inherited from parents. Most cases appear to occur spontaneously with no prior family history of the disease. There does seem to be a higher incidence in people with certain genetic disorders such as Tuberous Sclerosis, Wilson’s Disease and Hypertyramis Plasmidic. However, these constitute a very small percentage of all cases.
Toxin Exposure: There is no evidence that exposure to toxins such as pesticides or heavy metals causes Parkinson’s disease.
Smoking: There seems to be a slight correlation between smoking and developing the late stage of the disease. Evidence also suggests that smoking may increase the dosage of dopminic drugs required for treatment.
Head Trauma: No evidence exists that head trauma causes Parkinson’s disease. In fact, most doctors will not even agree to give you Parkinson’s disease if you have a history of head trauma.
Vitamin Deficiency: Evidence does suggest that people with diet deficient in Folic Acid such as liver eaters are at a higher risk of developing the early stages of the disease. (No evidence exists to suggest this is a cause of late stage or end of life Parkinsons).
Our expert medical professionals have determined that there is not enough evidence to link any of the above factors as a cause of Parkinson’s disease. Most doctors agree that this is most likely caused by aging and genetics.
Treatments For Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinsons Disease is considered a chronic disease that significantly decreases the quality of life for those who suffer from it. The main objective of treatment is to reduce the many different symptoms by using a combination of drugs and therapies.
The disease is typically divided into four stages or degrees of severity to help doctors monitor its progression and adjust treatment strategies as needed.
The first stage is when the patient first begins to experience motor skills problems such as tremors, muscular rigidity and slowness of movements. At this point, the disease can be reversed with therapy and medicine.
The second stage is when the patient begins to experience minor signs of difficulty with walking and stooping. They may also experience some mild cognitive problems such as memory loss. At this point, the disease can still be treated effectively with medicine and therapy.
The third stage is when the patient begins to experience a significant decline in motor skills and may begin to need help with daily living activities. They may experience bouts of paralysis, sleep a lot and begin to lose interest in hobbies. At this stage, the patient can benefit from physical therapy sessions to help improve movement abilities as well as medication to alleviate symptoms.
The fourth stage, also known as end-stage parkinsons, is when a patient can no longer get out of bed or care for themselves without help. They suffer severe muscular rigidity as well as trouble with swallowing and breathing.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Investigation of non-linear properties of multichannel EEG in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease by L Pezard, R Jech, E Růžička – Clinical Neurophysiology, 2001 – Elsevier
The performance on learning tasks of patients in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease by AGM Canavan, RE Passingham, CD Marsden… – Neuropsychologia, 1989 – Elsevier
Cognitive deficits in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease by AJ Lees, E Smith – Brain, 1983 – academic.oup.com
SPECT neuroimaging and neuropsychological functions in different stages of Parkinson’s disease by A Paschali, L Messinis, O Kargiotis, V Lakiotis… – European journal of …, 2010 – Springer
Concentration‐response relationship of levodopa in patients at different stages of Parkinson’s disease by S Harder, H Baas – Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 1998 – Wiley Online Library
Locomotor disorders in patients at early stages of Parkinson’s disease: a quantitative analysis by M Ferrarin, I Carpinella, M Rabuffetti… – … Conference of the …, 2006 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Arm swing magnitude and asymmetry during gait in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease by MD Lewek, R Poole, J Johnson, O Halawa, X Huang – Gait & posture, 2010 – Elsevier
Spatial and non-spatial working memory at different stages of Parkinson’s disease by AM Owen, JL Iddon, JR Hodges, BA Summers… – Neuropsychologia, 1997 – Elsevier