Musicians Artists And Actors With Alzheimers Or Dementia
The world takes notice when entertainers have Alzheimers. Even though it must be difficult for celebrities and their families to release this news to the world, it does raise awareness of the disease.
Here are some musicians, artists, and actors that had dementia or Alzheimers, according to the Brevard Alzheimers Foundation.
Michael Richard Clifford: Parkinson’s In Space
Michael Richard “Rich” Clifford began his career as a NASA astronaut in 1990. He’s since made three space flights, accumulating 665 hours orbiting Earth. Though diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1994, he continued to fly. Clifford was 42 and in apparent good health when he discovered his Parkinson’s disease, signaled at first by difficulty moving his right arm and hand correctly. In 2012, the American Academy of Neurology gave him the Public Leadership in Neurology Award for increasing awareness of Parkinson’s disease and for encouraging people living with Parkinson’s to continue to pursue their dreams.
Everyone with PD handles it differently, said Clifford in an interview with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Dont let it get in the way of living. Life is too good. Remember, keep going the skys the limit.
Top 10 Famous People With Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a degenerative nervous system disorder that produces tremors, stiffness, and balance issues in persons who have it. People with Parkinsons disease may develop cognitive problems, including dementia, as their condition develops. Approximately 1 million Americans suffer from this chronic disease, with 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Some public personalities have faced this condition, and many have worked to raise awareness and funding to aid in the search for improved therapies. Here are a few famous people with Parkinsons disease you may be familiar with.
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Linda Ronstadt: Parkinson’s Took Her Voice But Not Her Spirit
Known for her rich soprano vocals as the lead singer of the 1960s band the Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt opened up about her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis to AARP The Magazine in 2013. After two very bad tick bites in the 1980s, Ronstadt says her health never fully recovered but she didn’t visit a neurologist until she was no longer able to sing.
“I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing all I knew was that it was muscular or mechanical. Then when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason. I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try. And in my case, I can’t sing a note,” she told AARP.
Celebrities With Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a common nervous system disorder. Parkinsons disease is a progressive disease. Symptoms, such as tremor and slowed movement, may be so mild they go largely unnoticed for a long period of time. Then, when the disorder worsens, they become more noticeable. These well-known actors, politicians, and public figures have been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease and spoken openly about their experiences.
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Linda Ronstadt Ozzy Osbourne And Muhammad Ali Are Just Some Of The Well
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.
Notable Figures With Parkinsons
Although more than 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease , the general public’s understanding of disease symptoms is often limited to what is seen in the media. Many people only know Parkinson’s as the disease that Muhammad Ali had, or Michael J. Fox has.
However, when a household name such as Ali or Fox announces their diagnosis, Parkinson’s coverage briefly spikes. While a diagnosis is upsetting, when notable figures are public about their disease, the coverage helps increase awareness and understanding, while personalizing Parkinson’s for those with no other connection.
A PD diagnosis is universally difficult to cope with, but with a platform to speak from and fans to speak to, here’s a list of notable figures that have helped shape the Parkinson’s conversation:
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Myth : Parkinsons Is Only A Motor Condition
Fact: While its true that Parkinsons disease symptoms include shaking and tremor, rigid muscles, slowness of movement, and a frozen or flat expression, its a lot more than that.
Nonmotor symptoms deserve and are getting more attention from doctors and researchers. These symptoms include cognitive impairment or dementia , anxiety and depression, fatigue, sleep problems and more.
For some patients, nonmotor symptoms are more disabling than motor symptoms, which are the focus of treatment. Be sure to talk to your doctor about other issues so you can get all of your symptoms addressed.
Myth : Parkinsons Disease Is Fatal
Fact: Although a diagnosis of Parkinsons is devastating, it is not as some people may still believe a death sentence. Parkinsons disease is not a direct killer, like stroke or heart attack. That said, much depends on the quality of your care, both from your medical team and yourself.
As the disease progresses, you may become more vulnerable to falls, which can be dangerous. Thats why exercise and physical therapy are so important.
Infection is another problem. In later stages of Parkinsons, people often miss those signals and may not notice somethings up until its too late. That can be, literally, a killer so be sure to stay up to date with checkups.
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Retired Nba Power Forward Brian Grant Isnt The Only Famous Athlete With Parkinsons Here Are 10 More Sports Superstars Diagnosed With The Disease
NBA legend Brian Grant retired from professional basketball in 2006 after a 12-year career playing for the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.
Two years later, at the age of 36, he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinsons disease. This motivated him to launch the Brian Grant Foundation, which provides educational tools to help people with Parkinsons lead active, fulfilling lives.
But, as most of us know, Grant isnt the only sports superstar to power through the disease. Here are 10 more legendary athletes with Parkinsons.
Maurice White: A Performer With Parkinson’s
One of the founding members of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White noted the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in the 1980s while the band’s popularity was going strong. Although he was diagnosed in 1992 at age 50, he kept quiet about his disease for eight years. In a 2000 interview with Rolling Stone, he discussed his diagnosis, saying, “I traveled with the band for five years with Parkinson’s. I was treating it with medication then, and I still have it under control. It’s not taking anything away from me.”
White died in 2016 at age 74.
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Through His Eponymous Foundation The Famed Actor
As Marty McFly, he took us Back to the Future. Now, through his work leading The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research , actor and activist Michael J. Fox is helping to usher in a new future for people with one filled with hope. “I know without fail that we are getting closerday by day, year by yearto the breakthroughs that will make finding a cure inevitable,” Fox tells Neurology Now. “A lot of work lies ahead of us. But this is a responsibility we have, and we want people to know someone is trying to get this work done.”
Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disorder in which the brain has difficulty controlling the movements of the body. In people with PD, the brain cells that make dopamine don’t function normally, which causes trouble with body movement. Some of the classic symptoms of the disease are “rigidity, stiffness, stooped or forward-leaning posture, and shuffling gait,” says J. William Langston, M.D., the founder, chief executive officer , and scientific director of The Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, CA. Like over one million Americans, Michael J. Fox has PD.
Called “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s disease research in the world” by The New York Times, MJFF is the world’s largest private funder of PD research, having contributed more than $270 million toward their goal of finding a cure. Along the way, the organization has helped improve the way research is funded and conducted.
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Slowing Down the Disease
Ben Petrick: The Major League With Parkinson’s
Ben Petrick dreamed of a stellar baseball career as a catcher with the Colorado Rockies. He played in 240 Major League games, the majority of which came after Parkinson’s disease struck him at age 22 in 2000. He retired from baseball in 2004.
He’s since authored Forty Thousand to One, a book whose title in part references the 40,000 Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year. The book also recounts his experiences in Major League Baseball while coping with Parkinson’s disease. According to an ESPN interview, Petrick’s father was also diagnosed with the condition but maintains a positive attitude, saying that although he has Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s doesn’t have him.
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Freddie Roach: Boxing Trainer With Parkinson’s
Frederick “Freddie” Roach is a boxing trainer and former professional boxer. Bryant Gumbel included his story in the HBO series Real Sports, detailing Roach’s efforts to control his Parkinson’s disease with medication and continued work as a trainer. Roach, who began to show Parkinsons symptoms over 20 years ago, trains world-famous boxers at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California, which he owns. His client list has included the likes of Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao, Mark Wahlberg, and Georges St. Pierre.
But having Parkinson’s hasn’t dimmed his commitment to boxing, even as it’s caused his speech to slur and his left arm to shake. “I’m in the gym every day it’s part of life. Instead of taking a vacation, I like what I do. My vacations are right here,” Roach said in a 2015 CBS interview.
Inspiring People With Parkinsons
Illnesses like Parkinsons can affect anyone even the rich and famous. These conditions dont discriminate, and there are a number of well-known figures who have been very public in their own battle to manage Parkinsons over the years. Lets take a look at some inspiring famous faces who have been diagnosed with Parkinsons.
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Celebrity And High Profile Supporters
Our celebrity supporters use their voice and time to make a difference to the lives of people with Parkinson’s.
We’re delighted to have such a passionate and dedicated network of supporters from the fields of sport, entertainment and the arts.
Our high profile supporters include our President, , and our Patron, HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.
You can get in touch with our VIP team by emailing .
Important Facts About Parkinsons Disease
According to the not-for-profit organization, Mayo Clinic, Parkinsons disease is a progressive nervous system disorder affecting movements. Its symptoms are starting gradually, and sometimes, begins with a barely noticeable shaking of one hand. Tremors for this disease are typical. However, the disorder usually causes stiffness too or slowing down in terms of movement.
During the early phases of Parkinsons, a persons face may display little expression . His arms may not move or swing when he walks. Even the speech gets affected as it becomes slurred or soft. PD symptoms worsen as the condition progresses or develops over time.
In addition, even though it is incurable, there might be remarkable improvements with the symptoms due to medications. On some occasions, the doctor may recommend surgery to regulate some regions of the brain, not to mention, improve the symptoms.
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Living And Working With Parkinson’s Disease
Though he would not share the news with the public for another seven years, Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at 29. Upon disclosing his condition in 1998, he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson’s research. Fox announced his retirement from “Spin City” in January 2000, effective upon the completion of his fourth season and 100th episode. Expressing pride in the show, its talented cast, writers and creative team, he explained that new priorities made this the right time to step away from the demands of a weekly series. Later that year he launched The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which the New York Times has called “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s research in the world.” Today the world’s largest non-profit funder of Parkinson’s drug development, the Foundation has galvanized the search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease . Fox is widely admired for his tireless work as a patient advocate.
In 2011, he guest-starred in “Larry Versus Michael J. Fox,” the season-eight finale of Larry David’s acclaimed HBO comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” In spring 2009, he portrayed embittered, drug-addicted Dwight in Denis Leary’s hit FX Network drama “Rescue Me,” a role that earned him his fifth Emmy award. His 2006 recurring guest role in the ABC legal drama “Boston Legal” was nominated for an Emmy, and he appeared as Dr. Kevin Casey in the then-NBC series “Scrubs” in 2004.
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.
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Michael J Fox Has Parkinson Disease
From Our Archives
Michael J. Fox is due to say goodbye to the television program Spin City on the May 24 show. We are therefore rerunning an article we wrote a while back about Mr. Fox and Parkinson disease to put this matter in a medical perspective.
— Medical Editor, MedicineNet.com
The 37-year-old Canadian actor Michael J. Fox has Parkinson disease, a progressive degenerative disease of the part of the brain called the substantia nigra that controls movement. Although Parkinson disease occurs mostly in older people, it sometimes does strike people in their forties or, as with Mr. Fox, even younger people.
Mr. Fox was first diagnosed when he noticed a “twitch” in his left little finger while he was working on the set of the 1991 film Doc Hollywood, he told People magazine. Parkinson disease has several classic signs and symptoms including tremors, stiffness of the limbs, a mask-like face, gait disturbance , depressionand, late in the disease, dementia.
The tremor is characteristically a resting tremor that especially involves the hands and fingers. It is described as a “pill rolling” tremor, a name that harks back to the similarity between the tremor’s movement and that required to “roll a pill” in pharmacies past. In the early stages of Parkinson disease, the tremor stops when the person does something active, such as walking. Mr. Fox said that he paced during an interview to quell his tremor.
What Is The Difference Between Lewy Body Dementia And Parkinsons Disease Dementia
Lewy Body Dementia is a term used for both Parkinsons disease dementia and Lewy Body Dementia. They have some things in common, but their progression and treatment are different.
While many people with Parkinsons can experience cognitive changes, it is important to know that not everyone with Parkinsons will develop dementia. When we see more severe cognitive changes, particularly when they affect someones function or ability to act independently for activities of daily living, their work or hobbies, we think of that as being a form of dementia, said Dr. Goldman.
With Parkinsons dementia, the motor symptoms precede the dementia. In dementia with Lewy Body the initial core symptom is dementia cognitive changes are early, and motor features, if present, occur either after the onset of dementia or concurrently, said Dr. Goldman.
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Alan Alda: Taking Action Keeping Active
The award-winning M*A*S*H actor broke the news of his Parkinsons diagnosis during an appearance on the CBS This Morning TV news show in July 2018 and hes found that exercise helps him stay positive. You can hold back the progress if you do a lot of specific exercises, so I do a lot of crazy things, he told Today in 2019. For this actor, these crazy things reportedly include boxing, juggling, tennis, swimming, marching, and biking.
Confirming the news of his diagnosis on Twitter, Alda remained optimistic. I decided to let people know I have Parkinsons to encourage others to take action, he wrote. My life is full. I act, I give talks, I do my podcast, which I love. If you get a diagnosis, keep moving!