Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder impacting brain cells (neurons) that produce dopamine. Not limited to the seniors of 60 and older, Parkinson’s changes an adult’s functions, looks, and thoughts. Your neurologist in Sarasota or Lakewood Ranch FL, offers medications and various therapies to help patients and families live their best lives with this chronic condition.
Let’s talk about the symptoms and stages of Parkinson’s disease and where you can go for the best health care possible.
What Are The Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease start slowly and gradually increase in number and intensity, including motor functions and automatic movements, such as a decline in coordination and balance, typically on one side of the body at first. Additionally, people experience hand tremors.
Here are some frequently-seen symptoms:
- Muscular rigidity or stiffness
- Bradykinesia–literally, a slowness of overall movement
- Changes in handwriting and other fine motor skills (writing may be very small)
- Decreasing sense of smell
- Difficulty sleeping (staying asleep and unusual thrashing movements while asleep)
- Slurred speech and low vocal volume (soft-spoken)
- Mental fogginess and memory difficulties
- Decreasing sense of smell
- Stooped or bent posture
As this neurological problem advances, so does the severity of symptoms.
What Do the Stages Look Like?
Health care providers and researchers describe the advancing stages of Parkinson’s disease as early, mid-stage, mid-late stage, and advanced. Progression through these stages varies from person to person.
Here are the stages:
Parkinson’s disease may be totally unnoticeable at first, especially to the individual developing it. Fatigue, muscle weakness, reduced facial expressions, or difficulty getting out of bed or out of a chair may be chalked up to simple old age.
In this stage, once unnoticeable signs become more pronounced, stiffness and balance issues escalate and falls become common. Day-to-day chores and functions are more difficult, and fatigue increases.
Patients at this stage require substantial help at home. They may need a quad cane or walker that supports the balance and gait issues.
Many of these patients no longer can ambulate and use a wheelchair or scooter for mobility. They need 24/7 care in their homes or in an assisted-living or skilled nursing facility. Hallucinations and delusions happen as cognitive functions continue to decline.
Is Parkinson’s Disease Treatable?
The answer is yes. Today’s Parkinson’s medications are active on a variety of fronts, including:
- The management of dopamine levels in the brain.
- Specific diet and exercise regimens improve quality of life and may slow the progression of the disease. Physical and occupational therapies help people do ordinary tasks in innovative ways.
- Even surgeries, including electrical deep-stimulation of the brain have been proved hopeful for advanced patients.
Intercoastal Medical Group Has Neurologists on Staff
We at Intercoastal Medical Group, located in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, FL, are a multispecialty practice, offering patients of all ages a true medical home. Our internal medicine and family practice physicians coordinate preventive care and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. They can provide referrals to neurologists in our group if the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. Our neurologists see patients at our Lakewood Ranch II building in Lakewood Ranch, FL and our Hyde Park location in Sarasota, FL.
We are here to help you live a healthy and full life!