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Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. It is a progressive ailment, which means its symptoms worsen over time. While often associated with tremors, Parkinson’s Disease or RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) are distinct conditions, though both involve the nervous system. Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, rigidity, and difficulty in movement.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease remains unknown. It involves the death of vital nerve cells in the brain, primarily dopamine-producing neurons. As dopamine levels decrease, it causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s to manifest. Which structures of the body deteriorate during Parkinson’s disease? The most affected region is the substantia nigra in the brain, leading to decreased dopamine production.

Stages and Progression

Stage 1: This is the mildest form of Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms at this stage are typically inconvenient but not disabling. They generally present on one side of the body. Common symptoms include slight tremors, changes in posture, or altered facial expressions.

Stage 2: Symptoms start becoming more noticeable. Tremors, rigidity, and other movement-related issues might affect both sides of the body. Daily tasks might become more challenging and time-consuming, but individuals can still live alone.

Stage 3: This stage is considered moderate Parkinson’s, and the symptoms can notably impair the individual’s ability to perform daily activities. Balance becomes an issue, and falls are more frequent. The person can still be independent but will need to move more cautiously.

Stage 4: Symptoms are severe and limiting. The individual can stand without assistance but might require a walker for mobility. At this point, the person cannot live alone and will need assistance for daily activities.

Stage 5: This is the most advanced stage of Parkinson’s. Rigidity in the legs can make it impossible to stand or walk. The individual will need a wheelchair, or they might be bedridden. Around-the-clock nursing care is typically required for Stage 5 patients.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

The signs of Parkinson’s are diverse, affecting both motor and non-motor functions. Apart from tremors, stiffness, and slow movement, patients might also experience speech changes, facial masking, and difficulty in swallowing. It’s imperative to recognize these symptoms early for better management.

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

There isn’t a specific test to diagnose Parkinson’s. Physicians rely on medical history, symptoms, and neurological examinations. Understanding the Parkinson’s disease ICD 10 code can be essential for medical documentation and insurance purposes. The ICD 10 is the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, which assigns codes to various medical conditions.

Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease

While Parkinson’s disease is currently incurable, there are several treatment options available to manage its symptoms and improve the quality of life. Here’s an in-depth look at the treatments:

Medication: The most common treatment for Parkinson’s is medication that can increase dopamine levels in the brain or mimic its effects. As mentioned earlier, Levodopa combined with carbidopa (often referred to as Sinemet) is a standard medication. Other drugs include dopamine agonists (e.g., pramipexole and ropinirole), MAO-B inhibitors (e.g., selegiline and rasagiline), and COMT inhibitors (e.g., entacapone)(read more).

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): For those not responding to medications, DBS might be an option. Electrodes are surgically implanted in specific areas of the brain, and a generator placed in the chest sends electric pulses to the brain, thus helping in reducing symptoms.

Physical Therapy: It plays a crucial role in improving mobility and muscle tone. Exercises can help manage gait problems, improve balance, and enhance the quality of life.

Occupational Therapy: Helps patients adapt to their changing physical condition and maintain their independence. It might involve introducing devices to assist in daily activities or strategies to make tasks easier.

Speech and Language Therapy: Many Parkinson’s patients develop speech and swallowing difficulties. Therapists can provide exercises and techniques to improve these issues.

Alternative Therapies: Some people find relief in alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy, tai chi, and the Alexander technique. While their effectiveness isn’t universally accepted, they might provide additional comfort and symptom relief.

Nutritional Guidance: A balanced diet can assist with some symptoms and side effects of medications. For example, protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa, so timing protein intake might help the effectiveness of the drug.

Surgical Procedures: While not common, surgeries, other than DBS, like pallidotomy or thalamotomy, might be considered in severe cases or when other treatments fail to provide relief.

Other Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

Beyond traditional medications and DBS, other therapies can aid symptom management. These include physical therapy to enhance mobility and occupational therapy for daily tasks.

Support for People Living with Parkinson’s Disease

Having Parkinson’s is not just a physical challenge but also an emotional one. Support groups, counseling, and therapies can be immensely beneficial. Additionally, learning about the disease and understanding one’s condition plays a crucial role in coping.


Parkinson’s Disease, though daunting, is not insurmountable. With ongoing research, better treatments emerge, offering hope to those affected. Awareness and understanding of this ailment are the keys to early diagnosis and better quality of life.