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Inside Muhammad Ali’s Long Battle with Parkinson’s

Many believe Parkinson’s is the reason Muhammad Ali retired from boxing. However, despite exhibiting symptoms before retirement, he was not officially diagnosed with the disease until a few years later. After his diagnosis, he began a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s and became a figurehead in the battle against the condition. The Redondo Beach Parkinson’s care professionals at Home Care Assistance discuss a few of the ways Parkinson’s impacted Ali’s life.

The Causes of Ali’s Condition

Even though many people believe boxing directly led to Ali developing Parkinson’s, some doctors denied the sport was a factor. They claim Ali had the genetic form of Parkinson’s, which involves a mutated gene passed from one generation to another. The genetic type of Parkinson’s leads to a high number of cases within an extended family, but other causes of the disease may be environmental, including drugs and pesticides.

His Early Symptoms

Some speculate Muhammad Ali continued on with his boxing career while in the early stages of the disease. He developed minor issues that gradually became more severe, and it was the changes in his mobility that led to the speculation he was developing Parkinson’s. Tremors in the hands were the earliest symptoms he experienced, and the people around him soon noticed slow speech and loss of balance.

Some of the most common symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease include:

• Rigid muscles

• Changes in writing abilities

• Loss of automatic movements

• Impaired posture

His Treatment

Although the disease had a negative impact on Ali’s life, he was able to live more than 30 years after being diagnosed. To treat his condition, his doctors prescribed levodopa, a natural chemical that moves into the brain and converts into dopamine. Levodopa is one of the most effective treatments for Parkinson’s disease, and it reduces the risk of nausea, a common side effect of Parkinson’s medications.

If you have an elderly loved one who is living with Parkinson’s, reach out to Redondo Beach Home Care Assistance for the help he or she needs to manage its symptoms. Our respite and live-in caregivers can provide transportation to medical appointments, assist with mobility and exercise, and help with a wide array of everyday tasks. For more information on the elderly home care Redondo Beach seniors rely on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (310) 504-0506 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.