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Muhammad Ali’s Uphill Battle with Parkinson’s

By Ted Holmgren, 3:49 pm on

Famed boxer Muhammad Ali recently passed away after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Though he was faced with the reality of the disease and its debilitating effect on his life, Ali didn’t let it keep him from inspiring others with his bold spirit. Chandler, AZ, at-home care professionals discuss they ways he managed Parkinson’s and the legacy he left behind.

Ali’s Initial Diagnosis and Effects of the Disease

Ali began showing symptoms of Parkinson’s around his retirement in 1981 and was officially diagnosed 3 years later. By that time, he was already in the early stages of the disease, which included symptoms like tremors, slurred speech, and slowed movement. It was thought Ali’s onset of Parkinson’s was a result of genetics combined with his lifestyle and occupation. It’s not uncommon for boxers who have experienced head trauma to develop Parkinson’s and similar complications.

His Treatments

Like many others living with Parkinson’s, Ali treated the most debilitating symptoms of the disease by taking artificial dopamine supplements. Though the treatment helped temporarily and increased Ali’s mobility, it also added a few side effects to his struggle, including uncontrolled jerking movements.

His Unbreakable Spirit

Ali always realized something could go wrong as a result of his lifestyle. Anyone so insistent on leading such a dangerous life recognizes the inherent risks it poses, including increased vulnerability to diseases such as Parkinson’s. However, he never expressed any regret for his choices or actions and remained unbreakable despite the progression of the disease.

His Legacy

Parkinson’s disease took its toll on Ali in his last years. By the time he attended President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, he was unable to speak. However, those he inspired will never forget his legacy, and he remains an encouragement of strength in times of weakness.

Ali’s life can be an inspiration to your senior loved one as well. If your loved one is having difficulty managing Parkinson’s symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide the support your loved one needs to live a happier and healthier life. In addition to the high-quality Parkinson’s home care Chandler, AZ, families trust, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke care. For more information on our elderly care services and to schedule a free in-home consultation, please call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 480.448.6215.