It Hasnt Stopped My Life At All: Alan Alda Reveals He Has Parkinsons Disease
Actor Alan Alda, known for his roles on M.A.S.H., The West Wing and The Aviator, announced on Tuesday that he has Parkinsons disease.
Speaking on CBS This Morning, Alda said he has had a full life since he received the diagnosis 3½ years ago.
Ive acted. Ive given talks. I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook. I started this new podcast. And I noticed that I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast, and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots, said Alda, 82. I thought, its probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but thats not where I am.
Parkinsons disease is a nervous system disorder affecting movement, though symptoms are mild in the early stages. Although there is no cure, there are medications and other options that can help patients with symptoms.
There is no specific test for Parkinsons, which is diagnosed by doctors taking into account ones medical history, conducting a neurological and medical exam, and reviewing ones symptoms. There is a scan that can help support a doctors diagnosis.
Alda explained that he had read an article about a study showing that acting out ones dreams could be a very early indicator of Parkinsons, when no other symptoms show. So he asked doctors for a scan because I thought I might have it.
Alan Will Appear In A Netflix Film
He was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 2014. As we near 2020, the actor is not slowing down. He hosts a podcast regularly called Clear + Vivid and will be in a new movie called . The movie also stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver.
Alan admitted that his work projects also keep him young and his co-workers actually call him the worlds oldest millennial. This is because he loves his podcast, computers, and all things social! This year, he got the remaining M*A*S*H stars back together to appear on his podcast.
Alan Alda Reveals He Has Parkinson’s Disease
US actor Alan Alda, star of M*A*S*H and The West Wing, has revealed he has Parkinson’s disease.
The 82-year-old told the CBS This Morning show he was diagnosed three-and-a-half years ago but had only decided to speak about it now.
“The reason I want to talk about it in public is… I’ve had a full life since then,” he said.
“You still have things you can do,” he went on, revealing he was “taking boxing lessons three times a week.”
Parkinson’s is a progressive condition in which the brain becomes damaged. It can lead to tremors, difficulty moving, speech changes and eventually memory problems.
NEW: Actor just revealed he has Parkinson’s disease. The award-winning actor says he was diagnosed with the disease three and a half years ago.
Alda is best known for playing Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H from 1972 to 1983.
He went on to play presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in The West Wing and was Oscar nominated in 2005 for The Aviator.
Alda said he had noticed during recent interviews to promote his new podcast that he “could see thumb twitch in some shots”.
“I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view but that’s not where I am,” he continued.
Alda said he had gone to his doctor to ask for a scan because he suspected he might have the disease.
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Alan Alda makes sure to stay active in quarantine to help stave off his Parkinsons symptoms.
The 84-year-old M*A*S*H star, who is at the highest risk for contracting COVID-19 given his age and underlying health conditions, relies on exercise to keep him strong despite his battles.
I began to exercise. A lot of people hear they have Parkinsons and get depressed and panicky and dont do anything, just hoping itll go away,he told AARP magazine. Its not going to, but you can hold off the worst symptoms.
He continued, Movement helps: walking, biking, treadmills. But also specific things: I move to music a lot. I take boxing lessons from a guy trained in Parkinsons therapy. I do a full workout specifically designed for this disease. Its not the end of the world when you get this diagnosis.
While quarantining with his wife, Arlene, at their home on Long Island, the couple have been going on socially distanced walks with their friends to keep moving.
Im having a good time, under the circumstances, he said.
Alda announced in July 2018 that he was diagnosed with Parkinsons, a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system. There is no cure for it.
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Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative condition caused by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, which leads to various neurological and mobility-related symptoms. The Parkinsons Foundation estimates the number of people living with Parkinsons at 1 million in the United States alone, with over 10 million cases worldwide.
In January 2020, Ozzy Osbourne became the latest public figure to announce a Parkinsons diagnosis, helping to raise the profile of this little-understood neurological condition. Read on to learn more about how other celebrities living with Parkinsons disease have managed their condition and the work theyve done to raise awareness.
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He Got The M*a*s*h Cast To Reunite On His Podcast
The reason why I wanted to bring them together was not just for the reunion we have reunions all the time, Alan said, We get together for dinner at least once a year. What I realized was that the experience with them on M*A*S*H taught me something that really led in part to the podcast in itself.
Alan also opened up about some of the challenges they faced while filming the iconic finale of M*A*S*H. He said, The other challenge directing the final episode was the outdoor location that we used in the mountains of Malibu. It caught fire on a Friday night or Saturday morning and the entire set burned to the ground. I still had a lot of scenes to shoot there.
He continued,So I spent the weekend rewriting the script and wrote a fire into it. And the rest of the show took place in another location. But thats what one of the fun things that happen when youre acting. You have everything prepared. Everything is all set up to go, and then at the last minute, you have to improvise, which is exciting.
Watch the trailer for Alan Alda appears around 0:53! It will premiere on Netflix. Will you be watching? We are glad to hear that Alan is doing well these days!
Alan Alda Has Parkinson’s Disease What Is Parkinson’s Disease
Actor Alan Alda revealed on Twitter that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
Alan Alda reveals he has Parkinson’s disease
In a surprise announcement today, actor Alan Alda, 82, revealed that he has been living with Parkinsons disease for three and a half years.
The actor, of M*A*S*H fame, tweeted — with his characteristic humor — that to date hes remaining active and feels fine.
I take boxing lessons 3 days a week, play singles tennis twice a week, and take a mild pill all Dr. recommended,” Alda said in the tweetl “I even juggle a little. And Im not entering dementia. Im no more demented than I was before. Maybe I should rephrase that. Really, Im good.
Here’s a look at what Alda and millions around the globe are dealing with:
What is Parkinsons Disease?
With more than one million people affected in North America alone, Parkinsons disease — a condition first described in 1817 — is a brain disorder where nerves are weakened over time, affecting movement. The condition is seen more often after age 50, and is uncommon in people younger than 40.
What causes it?
What are the symptoms of Parkinsons?
Are there treatments?
Current medications help protect nerves, while other medications work to treat the symptoms of the condition. Doctors may also use a combination of medications that work together to create even more effective results.
How do doctors diagnose Parkinsons?
What happens to Parkinsons patients?
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‘m*a*s*h’ Actor Alan Alda Shares His Secret To Living Well With Parkinson’s Disease
What was said: Actor Alan Alda opened up about living with Parkinsons disease in a new interview with AARP. In addition to detailing his journey with polio as a child, Alda explained how acting out his dreams helped him realize he had Parkinsons and how hes coping with the diagnosis by staying active.
A lot of people hear they have Parkinsons and get depressed and panicky and dont do anything, just hoping itll go away. Its not going to, but you can hold off the worst symptoms. Alan Alda
The backstory: Alda initially revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease in 2018. He revealed the news during a CBS This Morning interview, sharing that initially the diagnosis was difficult to cope with. But, over time, he moved to a place of acceptance and continues to live a full life.
I take boxing lessons 3 days a week, play singles tennis twice a week, and take a mild pill all Dr. recommended. I even juggle a little. And Im not entering dementia. Im no more demented than I was before. Maybe I should rephrase that. Really, Im good.
The frontlines: Parkinsons disease is a progressive condition caused by a loss of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for movement, among other functions, in your nervous system.
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I feel good, he added. I work so hard, I guess thats part of it. I feel like a kid because Im working so hard.
Alda may be an octogenarian, but that hasn’t stopped him from embracing technology, so much so that hes known to some as the worlds oldest millennial. Thats what they call me at my office because Im very into computers and social stuff, you know, and my podcast,” he said. “Im very happy with all that stuff.
The six-time Emmy winner isnt showing any signs of taking it easy. In addition to his exercises, he stars in the upcoming film, Marriage Story, appears on the Showtime series, Ray Donovan, and continues to host his podcast, Clear + Vivid.
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Updating Approaches To Parkinsons
We know from the scientific literature that patients who see even a general neurologist have lower rates of morbidity, mortality and nursing home placement. But given that the majority of Parkinsons patients are under the care of general practitioners, internists and family medicine doctors, how do we help all of those who are affected by Parkinsons?
Based on studies that show that people are living longer with Parkinsons, one of the first messages we need to impart is that life is most certainly not over. A second important message is that new medications can and do make a difference.
These findings underscore the necessity of having doctors trained in Parkinsons.
For example, there is a myth that when you diagnose Parkinsons, you prescribe a medicine called carbidopa-levodopa three times a day, and thats all.
But Parkinsons is an incredibly complex disease with more than 20 motor and nonmotor features. The idea that dopamine, the main active ingredient in carbidopa-levodopa, is the only drug and the only treatment and theres nothing more you can do thats a myth. This is something we must make sure to emphasize and educate doctors in training and those seeing these patients in practice.
Alan Alda Reveals He Has Parkinson’s Disease: I’m Not Angry
Alan Alda has Parkinson’s disease. In an appearance on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, the award-winning actor, best known for his relatable portrayal of Army Capt. “Hawkeye” Pierce in the TV series “M*A*S*H,” revealed he was diagnosed three-and-a-half years ago.
“I’ve had a full life since then,” he said. “I’ve acted, I’ve given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook. I started this new podcast. And I noticed that I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots and I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.”
Alda said he got tested for the disease after reading an article about how one of the early signs of Parkinson’s is acting out dreams.
“I was having a dream that someone was attacking me and I threw a sack of potatoes at them. But what I was really doing was throwing a pillow at my wife,” he said.
The 82-year-old recently launched a podcast called Clear+Vivid, which explores all the ways in which people communicate with each other. The ability to engage with people clearly, he says, is the key to greater understanding for everyone. Another reason Alda spoke out was to send a message of hope to those who might be facing the disease.
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Michael J Fox: Parkinson’s Champion For A Cure
Michael J. Fox is among the most well-known people living with Parkinson’s disease. Many remember him as the fresh-faced young star of the 1980s TV comedy hit Family Ties and the popular Back to the Future movies. Though most people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed between ages 40 and 60, Fox was diagnosed at age 30 but his diagnosis didnt slow him down.
He shared his young-onset Parkinson’s disease diagnosis with the world in 1998 and, two years later, founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Fox is committed to helping the foundation build Parkinson’s disease awareness and raise funds for research into prevention, treatment, and a cure. In addition to his advocacy work, hes still a working actor some more recent roles have included characters with Parkinson’s in the TV shows The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
“As long as I play a guy with Parkinson’s, I can do anything,” he joked in a 2013 AARP interview.
Timing May Not Be Everything But It Is Important
In my JAMA article, I tried to lay a framework for the different phases a Parkinsons patient may go through and the many types of treatments that are available today. We now know, for example, that in the early phase of Parkinsons, specific exercises can be just as important, if not more important in some patients, than medications. Understanding the options and windows of opportunity can be the difference between success and failure.
We also now know that the timing of medications is critical and in many cases needs to be exactly aligned to particular hours of the day. In addition, some patients see benefits by changing drug dose, adjusting medication intervals and possibly the addition of one of many other drugs.
There are windows of opportunity for some patients where great benefit may result from surgical therapy. These include deep brain stimulation or the use of an externally worn pump that infuses a gel formation of a dopamine medication directly into the small intestine, which is a newer therapy approved by the FDA two years ago. But the physician must be aware of what those windows are, and who are the patients likely to experience benefit.
In other words, we must tailor the treatment to the patient.
This story is updated from its original version, which ran. Sept. 7, 2017.
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Actor Alan Alda is keeping his health in check. After revealing he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease in 2018, the 83-year-old star recently admitted on Today that hes doing everything in his power to keep himself healthy.
Im good. I shake a little, but Im good. I work out, he said on the talk show. You can hold back the progress if you do a lot of specific exercises, so I do a lot of crazy things.
Among the numerous crazy things that Alan does, he said he has taken up boxing, juggling, tennis, swimming, bike riding and marching.
I march to Sousa music, he joked, while referring to composer John Philip Sousa. Lotta Sousa music going on all the time in my house.
Not only that but Alan also admits he focuses on his work so he wouldnt think about his disease as much. I feel good, he said. I work so hard, I guess thats part of it. I feel like a kid because Im working so hard.
Alan can also count on his loving wife, Arlene Alda, for support whenever he needs it. In early October, the Mash alum revealed the secret to his 62-year marriage with Arlene. My wife says the secret of a long marriage is a short memory, he joked to Closer Weekly, before adding, it seems to work.