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Stages of Parkinson's Disease

Stages of Parkinson's Disease

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This article is excerpted from the APDA's booklet, Coping With Parkinson's Disease


Stages of Parkinson's Disease

The following scale, developed by Hoehn and Yahr, is the most widely used one to describe PD:

  1. Stage One
    1. Signs and symptoms on one side only
    2. Symptoms mild
    3. Symptoms inconvenient but not disabling
    4. Usually presents with tremor of one limb
    5. Friends have noticed changes in posture, locomotion and facial expression
  2. Stage Two
    1. Symptoms are bilateral
    2. Minimal disability
    3. Posture and gait affected
  3. Stage Three
    1. Significant slowing of body movements
    2. Early impairment of equilibrium on walking or standing
    3. Generalized dysfunction that is moderately severe
  4. Stage Four
    1. Severe symptoms
    2. Can still walk to a limited extent
    3. Rigidity and bradykinesia
    4. No longer able to live alone
    5. Tremor may be less than earlier stages
  5. Stage Five
    1. Cachectic stage
    2. Invalidism complete
    3. Cannot stand or walk
    4. Requires constant nursing care

This rating system has been largely supplanted by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, which is much more complicated.

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