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5 Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

We have collected all the necessary information on this illness. We will tell you about the 5 stages of Parkinson’s disease and symptoms that commonly are the signals for PD and also give tips on how to avoid it. Some physicians allocate one more, the so-called 0 stage. This is usually characterized as a hereditary factor. So, people who are at risk of getting Parkinson’s disease by the inheritance might have the hidden symptoms undergoing in their organism. 

Unfortunately, the statistics are gloomy, as nearly 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year. And the number is expected to grow. That’s why it is good to know about this illness as much as possible. So, you will know how to deal with it in case your darlings struggle with it. And also you will get clues on how to reduce the chances of getting it and so possibly avoid it at all

 What is Parkinson’s Disease and How Does it Progress? 

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a steadily progressive brain disease associated with degeneration of dopaminergic neurons substantia nigra and manifested by:

  • hypokinesia;
  • rigidity;
  • limb tremor, and postural instability; 
  • a wide range of non-motor disorders (mental, autonomic, sensory, etc.);

In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, the degree of social adaptation of patients is significantly reduced.

Substantia nigra is an integral part of the extrapyramidal system, responsible for movement control and maintaining muscle tone and posture. This substance is affected during Parkinson’s progression, which leads to various motor dysfunctions. Substantia nigra plays an important role in the regulation of motor function, muscle tone, and statokinetic function by participating in many autonomic functions: respiration, cardiac activity and blood vessel tone.

English physician James Parkinson described the main stages of Parkinson’s in his “Essay on trembling paralysis”, indicating common symptoms. 

Parkinson’s Disease stages

Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

According to some medical studies, PD usually appears in seniors after the age 50, and affects 1 to 2 people per 1,000. According to Hoehn-Yar Organisation, the prevalence increases with age and affects 1% of the population over 60 years. PD is usually divided into 5 stages. The symptoms are common for all Parkinson’s disease stages usually accompany the illness:

  • Depression;
  • Digestive and genitourinary system issues; 

The correct diagnosis of PD at the early stage makes it possible to correct the motor and non-motor symptoms of the disease, improve the quality of life of the patient and their social adaptation. 

Now, we are going to see the symptoms of each stage and how it affects a person:

Stage 1: Damage to the dorsal motor nucleus vagus nerve and olfactory bulbs

The progression of Parkinson’s disease begins with damage to the dorsal motor nucleus vagus nerve and olfactory bulbs. That results in typical for the 1st stage symptoms, like:

  • anosmia;
  • dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • problems with posture and motor functions;
  • difficulties in walking;
  • slight changes in facial expression;

Stage 2: Worsening of the sensory and motor functions

When it comes to the 2nd stage, the symptoms only worsen. Still, they do not progress to the level when a person can’t live alone. This results in several additional symptoms, as:

  • sensory disturbances;
  • pain manifestations;
  • considerable difficulties in motor functions (walking, maintaining posture, etc.);
  • significantly reduce in facial expressions.

Stage 3: An involvement of compact part of black substance

The progression of Parkinson’s disease in this stage leads to much more severe complications, unlike the first two stages. In stage 3, a compact part of the black substance is involved. Common symptoms are:

  • developed sleep disturbances;
  • affective disorders intensify;
  • the slowness of movements;
  • severe difficulties in daily activities, like eating, walking, clothing, etc.

Stage 4: Continued degeneration and a decrease in the number of neurons in the substantia nigra

In the final stages of Parkinson’s disease, a person can’t live independently. In the clinical picture appear:

  • cognitive impairment, manifested by a decrease in memory;
  • frontal dysfunction;
  • patient experiences difficulties while doing everyday actions (bathing, clothing, etc.);
  • walking is nearly impossible without assistance.

Stage 5: The Worsening of symptoms 

A significant worsening of previous symptoms characterizes the last stage of Parkinson’s disease. At the same time, cognitive impairments increase and lead to mental disorders. New symptoms appear:

  • hallucinations;
  • loss of smell and taste;
  • weight loss;
  • digestive systems damages (constipations);
  • mental degeneration.

Parkinson's Disease Prevention

How to Prevent Parkinson’s from Progressing?

The most important activity is doing sports. And you need to avoid head injuries and alcohol intoxication. 

People at risk should avoid extreme sports. Special attention has to be given to such problems as concussions and vascular diseases of the brain.

  • Avoid alcohol intoxication

A person with Parkinson’s disease lacks coordinated movement. Mental abilities become difficult, speech becomes incoherent, erudition and the ability to make decisions disappear.

  • Do sports

Stick to moderate physical activity: swimming, running, walking, dancing and yoga.

Get the full list of exercises for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Lone Star Neurology Clinic

Specialists of Lonestarneaurology have vast experience in dealing with a lot of neurological diseases. You can contact us through Instagram or Facebook. Or you may call us on this number 214-619-1910. We are available from Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On Saturdays, we are open for MRI only.  


  • How long can a person live having the 5th stage of Parkinson’s?

A person with the final stage of Parkinson’s can live approximately from 6 to 12 months. But life expectancy highly depends on the symptoms.

  • What does the 4th stage of Parkinson’s look like?

Patients with stage four Parkinson’s disease have visible motor dysfunctions and rigidity. In most cases, stage four patients need assistance walking, standing, and moving. 

  • What symptoms appear at the last stage of Parkinson’s disease?

The 5th stage of Parkinson’s implies a considerable worsening of all the previous symptoms. People can’t live independently and need constant observation. 

  • Do all Parkinson’s disease patients end up in a wheelchair?

No, a lot of people with Parkinson’s don’t need a wheelchair constantly. It directly depends on the stage and its symptoms.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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