Ali Fighting Parkinson’s Disease Like A Champ

Parkinson’s Disease Has Champ In Epic Battle

The former champion boxer Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’ disease in 1984 at the age of 42, and is one of the most high-profile people battling the condition. His brain injury could have been caused from repeated blows to the head. The majority of cases of Parkinson’s disease appear for no known reason, though some patients during the first world war were thought to have had viral infections.

Muhammad Ali fighting Parkinson's

Muhammad Ali has been fighting Parkinson’s since 1984. It is the greatest fight of his life.

Ali began showing symptoms of the disease soon after retiring from the boxing ring in 1981. But his condition was not diagnosed until three years later. By that stage he had developed tremors, his speech was slurred, and his body movements had become slow. Doctors prescribed drugs which alleviated the worst of his symptoms.

The first sign of Parkinson’s disease is usually a tremor in one hand, but over time people with the condition find it harder to move. Their muscles stiffen and in severe cases people will feel locked in position. The condition progresses unpredictably, and leads to other problems such as difficulty sleeping and depression.

Ali, who attended President Obama’s inauguration ceremony earlier this year, is now unable to speak in public.

With modern treatments patients with Parkinson’s disease usually have a normal life expectancy, though in long-term patients the decline in brain function can exacerbate other illnesses and so contribute to the eventual cause of death.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/mar/20/parkinsons-disease-muhammad-ali

About Gary Chandler

Gary Chandler is an author, advocate and strategist on health and environmental issues.
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