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Here is an excellent article that explains the general progression of Parkinson's and why it is so difficult to identify "stages."

There are about 50 kinds of dementia, and someone with Parkinson's could have any of these. A person could have both Parkinson's and Vascular dementia, for example. But the usual combination is Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia. In fact, the researcher who found the "bodies" of misformed protein that were then named after him was working on brains of patients who had had Parkinson's disease.

If a person first exhibits the physical symptoms of Parkinson's and then later also displays dementia symptoms, the disease is usually labeled Parkinson's Disease with Dementia (PDD). If the dementia symptoms come first and the person also has Parkinson-like symptoms or if those develop later, the label is usually Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). These technical details are not important for the caregiver, but it may help you understand why you can't look up on a chart and determine, "Dad is half way through stage x." The disease he has is just too complicated for that.

If Dad's symptoms get worse, it is usually from one of these causes:
1) A drug side effect. This would usually be a new drug or a change in dosage, but could occur with a drug that's been used a long time. The fix here is to make adjustments to the drugs.
2) An illness. UTIs are notorious for making dementia symptoms worse, or even mimicking dementia symptoms in people who don't even have dementia! Other infections or illnesses can have similar effects. When the illness is treated, the symptoms go back to baseline -- what they were like before the illness began.
3) Progression of the disease. This is not reversible. The symptoms will not go back to baseline. But there may be ways of treating the new symptoms to minimize them.

How will you know which of these is the cause in your dad's case? You may not be able to figure this out without a doctor's help. And even with help there may be a bit of "wait and see" involved.

It is VERY important that your father be followed by specialists who understand the complexities of Parkinson's with dementia. They should be able to provide you with literature and suggestions for support groups and perhaps hold seminars for caregivers occasionally.

Knowing a lot about your father's condition can help reduce your anxiety, and that will also be good for him.

Come back as often as you like, with specific questions. Other people on here have loved ones with Parkinson's and can share experiences when you describe particular issues.
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Do you have a question about this disease?
Helpful Answer (2)
Daddygirl2 Oct 2018
How do I know what stage of PD my dads in?
Happening so fast, don’t know what to do??
How do you know if it’s meds or the desease if his behavior changes within weeks?
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