What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s? See the 5 disease stages

Parkinson’s mainly affects elderly people and, in this text, in addition to the symptoms, you will find out how we can prevent the disease, which is very important to avoid the consequences and also to know how to deal with the elderly around us. 

The causes of Parkinson’s

It is normal to accept that maturing is the reason for Parkinson’s, however this isn’t correct. At the point when we arrive at advanced age, we produce many less cells for the sensory system (which is liable for the developments we make), and this is a characteristic cycle. (This cycle is considerably more normal in men than in ladies). However, certain individuals lose these cells rapidly, and in this way foster Parkinson’s sickness, brought about by hereditary or ecological elements.

How to recognize the symptoms of Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s doesn’t happen all at once, it’s a slow process. Before problems related to movement arise, the body gives signs such as loss of smell, anxiety, urinary problems, back and joint pain, difficulty sleeping and even depression. These indirect symptoms may appear a few years before more serious problems. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the signs and, if necessary, seek help from a doctor. 

The lack of information often points to a view of Parkinson’s as just the disease of shaking hands, one of the clearest and most striking signs, but this is not the only symptom. Below is a list of other ways to recognize Parkinson’s:

What are the first motor symptoms of Parkinson’s

  • Tremors in the body during rest (especially in the hands)
  • Muscle Stiffness
  • Frequent choking
  • Too much effort to move legs and arms
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Tremor when writing
  • Slow
  • Subtle changes in facial movements (blinking, smiling, raising eyebrows)
  • Difficulties in manual activities, such as buttoning clothes and writing

If you have experienced any of the difficulties listed above, do not hesitate to consult a specialist, as the situation can worsen over time, as we will see below, and become irreversible.

Parkinson’s symptoms: the 5 stages of the disease

Despite presenting at different intensities in each patient, Parkinson’s symptoms follow a pattern, which medicine defines as the 5 phases of the disease. 

Phase 1 – What are the first symptoms of Parkinson’s

At this stage, symptoms affect only one side of the body, albeit mildly, and patients usually feel tremors in one of their hands. But, in general, it is a phase without interruptions that disrupt everyday life. The patient still has autonomy, so it is more difficult to recognize situations such as feeling small imbalances or turning the foot when walking as a possible illness.

Phase 2 – The body in slow motion

Now, with both sides of the body affected, the patient begins to experience greater difficulties in daily activities, such as getting up and starting movements. Steps become slower and shorter and speech becomes lower and slurred. From this stage onwards, your doctor should recommend professionals such as physiotherapists and speech therapists to monitor the progress of the case.

Phase 3 – You will need company

Standing, walking, eating and even getting dressed become complicated activities to do alone. At this stage, the patient’s balance becomes extremely fragile. It is very important to undergo occupational therapy treatment to avoid completely losing autonomy.

Phase 4 – Full-time care

From this period onwards, movements are completely compromised. Therefore, it is very necessary to have a full-time caregiver, friend or relative to help with household and street chores.

Phase 5 – Lots of medicine and no movement

In the last stage, it is no longer possible to walk. The patient needs to use wheelchairs, some do not even get out of bed anymore. This is also the phase where it is necessary to administer stronger medications, with possible side effects.

Parkinson’s symptoms: treatment

Parkinson’s, unfortunately, still does not have any method of curing or reversing the disease, but there are several types of therapies, medications and even surgeries that can help control the disease and improve the patient’s quality of life.


Medications to control Parkinson’s aim to increase dopamine production in the patient’s brain. These medications are prescribed according to each person’s condition and adjusted as the patient’s condition evolves.

Furthermore, it is often necessary to combine two or more formulas for the result to be more efficient. However, with the evolution of medicine, today medicines for Parkinson’s already act in a less aggressive way, simulating the production of dopamine in the same way that the brain does during youth. This method is still considered the most important of Parkinson’s treatments. 


Physiotherapy is just as important as the use of medication. The most recommended treatments for Parkinson’s patients are neurofunctional (also recommended for stroke victims, paraplegic patients, among others), those that bring greater movement to the body. During physiotherapy treatment, the patient practices stretching, muscle strengthening and mobilization, in order to avoid the constant risk of falls. Undeniably, physiotherapy must be started as soon as possible, to delay the effects of Parkinson’s.

Other treatments like these also help, such as hydrotherapy, music therapy and all types of rhythmic exercises.


When the treatments mentioned above do not work as expected to treat Parkinson’s symptoms, or the case is progressing very quickly, doctors may recommend Deep Brain Stimulation (EPC) surgery. In this surgery, a pacemaker is placed in the brain, which will stimulate the production of dopamine and improve your body’s commands to carry out movements. Typically, patients who need to go through this have been living with the disease for four to five years, and the medications are already losing their effect hours after being taken. 

Another type of person who may need this surgery as soon as the diagnosis is given are those patients who have high stomach sensitivity to the use of medicines or suffer more than normal from the side effects of medicines, such as drowsiness and the urge to vomit. .

Parkinson’s symptoms: how to prevent

We cannot predict whether we will have Parkinson’s or not, but some habits, if cultivated from an early age, can prevent the onset of the disease. So, find out some easy measures to apply in your daily life.

Do physical activities

This is a tip that works for almost everything that has to do with a better life. For example, walking, running, playing sports, dancing, going to the gym. Everything that moves your body brings oxygen to the brain and, consequently, neurons are renewed more frequently.

Eat antioxidant foods

This is a difficult word, but these foods are very easy to find in the market or at the fair, and will supply your body with everything it needs to prevent the onset of Parkinson’s. They are: 

  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Cinnamon
  • Saffron of the Earth
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Acai
  • Parsley
  • Nutmeg
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cumin seed
  • Curry powder
  • White, black and red peppers
  • Ginger
  • Yellow mustard
  • Marjoram
  • Semisweet chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Tarragon
  • Raspberry
  • Sumac Bran

Stimulate the brain

Another very easy option to prevent Parkinson’s symptoms is to stimulate your brain by doing things like reading, calculating, writing, playing concentration games (like chess), learning a new language or a musical instrument, playing magazine games ( word search, Sudoku, crossword), for example. In fact, in the same way that physical exercise makes your muscles stronger, stimulating your brain makes your neurons more resistant to disease.

Living with people

Avoid being alone for long periods. So, join clubs, take courses, visit your neighbors, go to the mall, and visit hospitals. Living in society is very good for keeping the brain healthy.