Parkinson’s disease has been classified into 5 stages by Hoehn and Yahr. Their classification is primarily based on the severity of symptoms and the degree of disability the patient experiences.
When prescribing treatment, the neurologist will take into account the stage at which the patient is perceived to be, among other things.
Stage 1 is called unilateral disease. The term means that only a single side of the body shows symptoms of Parkinson’s illness.
This is regarded as an early stage of the illness and may possibly final for numerous years. Neuroprotective remedy is widespread at this stage. This remedy aims to avoid additional harm to the nervous system.
Vitamin E was utilized at this stage, but a lot of researchers are of the opinion that this is not quite effective. A selective MAO-B inhibitor known as Rasigiline has shown guarantee.
Stage 2 of Parkinson’s illness is labeled bilateral illness. Meaning, symptoms of Parkinson’s now show up on each sides of the physique. The illness is regarded to be at Stage two even if there is an insignificant symptom (an occasional tremor, for example) on the side of the body that was symptom-cost-free earlier.
Recent therapies at this stage include use of dopamine agonists. Till some years ago, dopamine agonists had been utilized only at later stages of the disease. At the moment, researchers are of the view that if such therapy is began earlier, complications from using drugs like Levodopa may possibly not arise at later stages.
The illness is stated to be at stage 3 when symptoms show progression and specially when the patient has difficulty in maintaining their posture. Symptoms at this stage include postural instability and falling down.
Traditionally, this is the stage at which dopamine agonists or Levodopa was prescribed, but as mentioned above, some of these drugs are now employed at earlier stages itself.
Stage four happens when there is an increase in the severity of symptoms which includes postural instability and falling. Surgery is a single choice for treatment at this stage. Surgery can alleviate some of the symptoms. Nevertheless, this is normally advisable only for reasonably young patients who are in excellent health otherwise.
Stage 5 is the most advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease. The patient is normally wheelchair bound. Walking is feasible only with help.
Levodopa continues to be a prescribed drug at this stage, along with a COMT inhibitor, which ensures that the effects last longer. Surgery could also be an option, including pallidotomy, which destroys a small group of brain cells. This aids stay away from the rigidity often seasoned with Parkinson’s illness and may possibly stop tremors as effectively.
Yet another possible treatment is deep brain stimulation, where electrodes are implanted into the brain tissue and stimulated with low level electric currents.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease progress as the patient moves from a single stage to the next. Ongoing research is making new treatments like stem cell implants and new drugs.
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