A Champion Against Parkinson's: Muhammad Ali's Story

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Muhammad Ali’s Story: A Champion in the Face of Parkinson’s

By Ted Holmgren, 3:21 pm on June 13, 2016

Muhammad Ali’s recent passing reminds us how strong a person can be in the face of a formidable foe. He remained spirited while battling Parkinson’s disease and was an inspiration for others living with the condition. The Scottsdale, AZ, elder care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss a few details of Ali’s life and how he managed Parkinson’s.

Ali’s Diagnosis

In the early 1980s, Ali began acting differently. His gait changed, and his face seemed expressionless. The once lightning-fast boxer wasn’t standing tall like he used to anymore, and even his fans could tell something was wrong. It didn’t take long for his doctor to make the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

The Cause of His Condition

Scientists have made educated assumptions about the causes of Parkinson’s disease, but no one really knows why a person gets it. Many believe Ali’s time in the ring was to blame for his condition because of damage to his brain from constant blows to the head. However, his family has mentioned his exposure to pesticides in his early years, and they think this contributed to his disease as well.

How He Fought the Disease

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and the only medication available for Ali was L-dopa, which boosts the production of dopamine in the brain. However, Ali’s strenuous amounts of exercise on a regular basis also aided in reducing his muscle rigidity.

His Longest Fight

Parkinson’s disease isn’t typically diagnosed until people reach their 60s, but Ali was only in his early 40s when a doctor discovered his condition. Ali struggled with the battle of his life for over 30 years before finally succumbing, but he spent that time helping others with Parkinson’s. His determination to refuse defeat and the way he encouraged others to never give up is what he will be remembered most for.

If you have an elderly loved one who needs help managing Parkinson’s symptoms, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers are expertly trained in strategies to help seniors with Parkinson’s lead happier and healthier lives. In addition to Parkinson’s care Scottsdale, AZ, seniors can count on, we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, and post-stroke care. For more information on our at-home care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 480.448.6215 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.