July 21, 2024

The motor system disorder Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by unintended or uncontrollable body movements, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH).

Symptoms include tremors, muscle stiffness, impaired balance, and problems speaking, swallowing, and sleeping.

It can also cause cognitive issues and generally occurs around the age of 70, affecting more men than women. There is no cure.

There are several celebrities who have been diagnosed with PD. Many were older when they started experiencing symptoms, but some, like actor Michael J. Fox, were much younger when they learned that they had the disease.

Several of these stars have continued to perform and entertain even after experiencing symptoms of the disease, proving that it’s not a death sentence.

While it can be debilitating at times, and some days are better than others, the following actors, singers, and athletes have largely tried to remain positive and not let PD get them down.

Many of their stories are inspiring, and while some have since passed on, many more are still living with the disease and making the most of it.One of the most famous faces of Parkinson’s is actor Michael J. Fox.

The star has entertained film and TV fans for decades in a variety of big-screen franchises (“Back to the Future”) and TV shows (“Family Ties,” “Spin City,” and so on) and has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for over 30 years.

What makes Fox unique is that he was so young when he found out he had Parkinson’s. The actor had recently gotten married and was not yet 30 when he was first diagnosed.

And while the news was likely shocking for the young couple, Fox told CBS in 2021: “We haven’t cried about Parkinson’s since.

We’ve just dealt with it and lived our lives. But we cried about it that first time.” He has since become an inspiration to those fighting PD and the families that support them.

The star continued to act for decades despite his diagnosis in TV programs such as “Boston Legal,” “The Good Wife,” and “Designated Survivor.

” He is currently retired and occasionally has difficulty dealing with everyday activities, some of which require a wheelchair.

Fox has written four books, including a memoir, and appreciates the time he gets to spend with his wife and children.

And while the disease can be debilitating, he doesn’t let Parkinson’s get him down and has dubbed himself “Mr. Optimist.

” Because, for Fox, it’s vital to have a positive attitude. The star also has the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which centers on Parkinson’s research.

Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, three years after he retired from the sport.

A recent study found that he had been showing signs of the disease in the late 1970s. Author Jonathan Eig, who wrote a biography on Ali, found Ali’s speech had slowed down considerably following a fight with Ernie Shavers in 1977.

Research also revealed that the boxer experienced speech discrepancies between the ages of 26 and 39, according to CBS. This symptom can be attributed to Parkinson’s.

Arizona State speech scientists Visar Berisha and Julie Liss set out to find a parallel between speech patterns and early signs of the disease.

This is critical because early intervention can help when treating neurological diseases, according to Liss. Unfortunately, Ali kept boxing even though he was experiencing some troubling issues with his health.

Eig explained, “Ali did damage to himself, and he knew it and kept boxing too long, but he didn’t have the information we now have about CTE — you don’t have to wait until you’re middle-aged to stop.

” (CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is caused by repeated head trauma and is known to affect boxers as well as football players.)

According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, traumatic brain injury can also lead to Parkinson’s disease, and Ali certainly experienced his fair share of head shots during his athletic career.

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