Celebrity Health

Alan Alda's Life Hasn't Stopped After Parkinson's Diagnosis

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease that affects 1 million Americans

For Alda, and millions like him, Parkinson’s disease affects a patient's movement. The Mayo Clinic calls Parkinson’s a progressive disorder of the nervous system, and it often begins with a small tremor in the hand or muscle stiffness. Both the tremors and the stiffness get worse as time progresses, and there is no way to stop it once it starts.

Parkinson’s disease patients eventually have trouble walking and talking, and experience symptoms like slowness of movement, loss of balance and slurred speech. Parkinson’s disease gives you a decreased ability to manage unconscious movements. Blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk become difficult. And also, one side of the body is affected more than the other.

Men are more than likely to develop Parkinson’s than women and the disease usually, but not always, affects those who are over 50.

Parkinson’s disease affects 1 million Americans, and Alda quipped that he is now a member of the fraternity.