How Fast Does Parkinson’s Progress?
Because of the variety of symptoms, it is often difficult to predict the progression of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, a person with Parkinson’s disease may not experience all of the symptoms, especially in the early stages.
Also, they may not be able to tell how quickly their symptoms will get worse or if the medicines and treatments they are getting will slow the progression of their illness.
Nonetheless, the progression of Parkinson’s disease follows a predictable pattern. During the five stages of Parkinson’s disease, changes in movement, cognition, mood, and behavior tend to happen slowly and worsen.
- Stage 1: The symptoms are mild and don’t interfere with the person’s everyday life. However, tremors and other body movement issues are generally limited to one side of the body at this stage of Parkinson’s.
- Stage 2: The symptoms are much more noticeable and affect both sides of the person’s body. Difficulties with walking may develop, as well as changes in facial expression and speech problems.
- Stage 3: The symptoms from the previous stage are typically accompanied by loss of balance, reduced reflexes, and slower movements, significantly affecting the person’s daily life.
- Stage 4: At this stage, many people cannot move independently and require round-the-clock assistance with activities of daily living.
- Stage 5: people in this stage often cannot stand and walk, requiring wheelchairs and 24-hour assistance. Dementia, hallucinations, and delusions may also occur at this stage.