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How quickly will Parkinson's progress from stage 1 to stage 3?
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DJMast posted:
My husband is 67 and recently diagnosed with Parkinson's. He has tremors in his right leg and stiffness in his right arm, as well as a bit of dragging of his right foot. He just started on Levadopa. He is very active, and loves to hike, climb mountains, ride bicycle, etc. Other than Parkinson's, his health and weight are good. I understand that Parkinson's is different for everyone, but we are trying to determine how many years we have until his sypmtoms make it difficult or even impossible to do these things. He wants to work until he is 70, but we wonder if he will be able to? Do we have 3 years? 5 years? More? Less? Any input would be greatly appreciated as we prepare mentally, emotionally and physically for this journey in life
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DUKE MEDICINE
Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
Dear DJMast,
Although none of us have a crystal ball, here is the data most specific to your question. In the late 1990's we compared 2 forms of levodopa in more than 800 people. If the patients tolerated the levodopa, and most did, they were followed for 5 years. Neurological exams at the end of 5 years found that every subject had a better motor examination than they did at study entry.

In summary, give your husband about 3 months to get used to the medication, and know that 5 years from now he will be better than he was last month. Bad news: he will now have to work until he is 70...


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