Parkinson's is a neurological disease caused by the degeneration or destruction of cells in the nervous system. The nature of Parkinson's disease is progressive, which means it gets worse over time. To understand the natural course of the disease, we need to understand its several stages as described by the Parkinson's Foundation.
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People have mild indications that usually do not interfere with regular activities. Tremors and other movement symptoms happen only on one side of the body. You may also experience changes in posture, gait, and facial expressions.
Symptoms worsen, including tremors, stiffness, and other symptoms of movement on both sides of the body. You can still live alone, but everyday tasks are more difficult and longer.
This is considered an intermediate level. People experience loss of balance and slow movement. Although still completely independent, these symptoms worsen activities such as dressing and eating significantly. Falls are also more common in the third stage.
Symptoms are severe and debilitating. People can stand unaided, but exercise may require a walker. People in the fourth stage need help in their daily activities and cannot live alone.
Stiff legs can make standing or walk impossible. The person requires a wheelchair or is restricted. All activities require round-the-clock medical attention. The person may experience hallucinations and delusions.