Stages of Parkinson's Disease
- Symptoms occur on both sides of the body
- Minimal disability
- Posture and gait are affected.
Medication may be started during stage I or II and typically involves one of the less powerful Parkinson's disease medications. This includes such drugs as:
- Selegiline (Eldepryl®, Zelapar®, Emsam®)
- An anticholinergic
- A dopamine agonist, such as pramipexole (Mirapex®) or ropinirole (Requip®).
Using these medicines first allows the healthcare provider to save the most powerful treatment (specifically, levodopa) for the time when people need it most.
Parkinson's Disease Stage III (Moderate Parkinson's Disease)Stages III, IV, and V are when a person develops significant disability from Parkinson's disease. A person in stage III is considered to have moderate Parkinson's disease.
A person is categorized with stage III if the following are present:
- Significant slowing of body movements
- Early impairment of equilibrium when walking or standing
- Generalized dysfunction that is moderately severe.
Stage III is when levodopa is usually first prescribed (see Parkinson's Disease Medications).
Stage IV (Advanced Parkinson's Disease)A person is categorized with stage IV of the disease if the following are present:
- Severe symptoms
- The person can still walk to a limited extent
- Rigidity and bradykinesia are present
- Person is no longer able to live alone
- Tremor may be less than earlier stages.
This stage is considered advanced Parkinson's disease.