Alan Alda Has Opened Up About His Parkinson's Diagnosis. What Is This Disease, And Is There A Way To Avoid It?

Date August 3, 2018 14:51

Alan Alda opens up about his Parkinson’s diagnosis

It has become common for celebrities and other public figures to speak openly about their health problems in order to raise awareness and give voice to others who are going through the same.


READ ALSO: 6 Key Differences Between Alzheimer's And Parkinson's

The list of famous people who chose to go public with their diagnoses has a new addition: Alan Alda, an award-winning actor best known for his role in the hit TV series M*A*S*H, has just revealed he has Parkinson’s disease.


The actor publicly spoke about his diagnosis for the first time on the CBS This Morning show. He also wrote about his condition on Twitter, reassuring his fans that he is doing fine.

READ ALSO: "I Was Supposed To Be Pretty Much Disabled By Now." How Michael J. Fox Manages To Live Happy Despite Parkinson’s Disease

What is Parkinson’s disease, and is there a way to lower your risk of getting it?

Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. It’s estimated that about 1 million Americans are living with Parkinson’s.

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In most cases, the first symptom of Parkinson’s is a slight resting tremor affecting one hand. As the disease progresses, other symptoms start to appear. They may include the following:

  • slowed movement;
  • muscle stiffness;
  • balance problems;
  • lack of facial expressions;
  • monotonous speech;
  • changes in handwriting.

As Parkinson’s is primarily a movement disorder, cognitive decline isn’t its main symptom. Thinking difficulties may develop in the later stages of the disease.

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Since we don’t know what causes Parkinson’s, there are no known ways to prevent it. However, some recent studies suggest you can lower your risk of the disease with lifestyle changes.

According to one study cited by Harvard Health, vigorous exercise can decrease your risk of developing Parkinson’s by 30 percent. Another study, cited by Parkinson’s News Today, suggests moderate coffee consumption can also make you less likely to develop Parkinson’s (although it’s unclear whether it’s the caffeine that’s responsible for this effect).

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So, you can try drinking a few cups of coffee a day and exercising regularly, and that may help you avoid Parkinson’s. Even if these lifestyle changes don’t really have a significant effect on your risk of Parkinson’s, they certainly can’t hurt!

READ ALSO: How A Lifetime Dealing With Parkinson's Helped Michael J. Fox Find His Life's Greatest Purpose

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.