Muhammad Ali And Parkinson’s: ‘He Can Speak To People With His Heart’
Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday, was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1984, a disease that eventually took away his motor skills and his ability to speak clearly. The boxer has been instrumental in raising awareness of the condition.
The New York Times:
Parkinson’s: A Progressive, Incurable Disease
Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease, was given the diagnosis in 1984 when he was 42. The world witnessed his gradual decline over the decades as tremors and stiffness set in, replacing his athletic stride with a shuffle, silencing his exuberant voice and freezing his face into an expressionless mask. (Grady, 6/4)
Muhammad Ali's Health Battle: What Is Parkinson's Disease?
In the following years, Parkinson's began to take away Ali's motor skills and his ability to speak coherently, but he never strayed from the spotlight. "Even though Muhammad has Parkinson's and his speech isn't what it used to be, he can speak to people with his eyes. He can speak to people with his heart, and they connect with him," wife Lonnie Ali said. (Smith, 6/4)
Head Trauma May Have Contributed To Ali's Parkinson's
Muhammad Ali died Friday with the Parkinson’s disease that helped define his life for the last 32 years. Boxing may have contributed to his illness, but genetics was likely a bigger factor, experts said. “It’s bad luck on top of genetics,” said Ole Isacson, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School who met Ali several times. People who lose consciousness through head trauma are at 50% higher risk of Parkinson’s than those who don’t, he said. (Weintraub, 6/4)