Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder which affects movement.
There are more than 1 million people living with PD in the United States and around 55,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.
The three main symptoms of PD are:
- stiff and inflexible muscles;
- slow movement;
- involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body.
Since the late 1960s, levodopa has been the most effective treatment for addressing motor symptoms of PD.
List Of 14 Famous People With Parkinson’s Disease:
#1 Janet Reno
Reno was an American lawyer who served as the Attorney General of the United States from 1993 until 2001. Reno told ”Neurology Now” in 2006:
“I noticed a tremor in my early-morning walks around the Capitol. At first, it was just a faint twitch, but it got progressively worse, and so I went to the doctor.”
She died in 2016, more than two decades after her diagnosis.
#2 Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí was a prominent Spanish surrealist born in Figueres, Spain. Dalí was best known for the bizarre and striking images in his surrealist work.
The artist suffered from heart disease and PD.
#3 Pope John Paul II
He was the sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.
In 2001, Pope John Paul II was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
#4 Casey Kasem
Kasem was an American disc jockey, radio personality, music historian, actor, and voice actor. Casey was the host of a few music radio countdown programs, notably American Top 40 from 1970 until 2009.
The radio host suffered from the early stages of dementia and Parkinson’s disease before he died in 2014.
#5 Billy Graham
Graham was arguably the most successful Christian evangelist in the world. In addition, he provided spiritual counsel for every president from the 33rd, Harry S. Truman, to the 44th, Barack Obama.
Even though he’s had PD for almost 25 years, it wasn’t public until his son revealed his condition to the world on his 97th birthday. Billy died at the age of 99 on February 21, 2018, in Montreat, North Carolina.
#6 Michael J. Fox
In 1998, Michael went public about his diagnosis. During an interview, he declared:
“It was pretty scary. I was 29 years old and so it was the last thing I expected to hear.”
Fox later added:
“I thought I’d hurt my shoulder doing some stunt because I had a twitch in my pinkie. And the doctor said ‘You have Parkinson’s disease. The good news is that you have 10 years of work left’.”
Then Michael reached a point where he decided to try and deal with the disease. He recalled:
“Why don’t I just try to understand what it’s telling me, what it means?’ I said, ‘I need to learn more about this.’ And after it was alarming and freakish and scary and nightmarish, Parkinson’s was settling.”
”I was able to accept the fact of it, accept the truth of it. But acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means accepting and then moving on.”
Despite continuing to attend work events, according to the latest reports, Fox has been getting a lot worse recently and he was seen struggling to get into a car outside Hollywood restaurant Craig’s.
#7 Johnny Cash
Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, guitarist, and author. Johnny is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 90 million records worldwide.
In 1997, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
His manager, Lou Robin, declared:
“Johnny feels confident that once the Parkinson’s is medically stabilized, he can resume his normal work schedule.”
Johnny died of complications from diabetes around 2:00 am CT on September 12, 2003. He was 71 years old.
#8 Martha Johnson
Johnson is a Canadian keyboardist, rock singer, and songwriter. Martha started her career playing the organ with the cover band “Oh Those Pants.” Martha is best known as the vocalist of the 1980s rock band Martha and the Muffins.
She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001.
#9 Linda Ronstadt
Ronstadt is a retired American popular music singer who earned three American Music Awards, 10 Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, two Academy of Country Music awards, and an ALMA Award.
Linda Maria has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
The Grammy award-winning singer was diagnosed with PD in 2012 after showing symptoms for the previous 8 years.
#10 Robin Williams
Williams was an American comedian and actor who won an Academy Award for his role in Good Will Hunting.
His wife revealed that Robin had been battling the early stages of PD.
#11 Michael R Clifford
Clifford is a former United States Army officer and NASA astronaut. He has PD. Michael remembered:
“Even before my diagnosis, you could tell something wasn’t right.”
Clifford later added:
”Looking back on footage of my second flight, you could see symptoms — my arm wasn’t swinging while I was up there.”
In 2015, Michael wrote:
”It has been 17 years since I received my initial diagnosis. I left the Astronaut ranks in 1997 for reasons not associated with PD.”
”The disease has progressed as you would expect but its acceleration is following a very low ramp, thanks to the help of my doctors and continued advances in PD research. I am still active in the workforce and play golf as often as I can.”
#12 Billy Connolly
Connolly is a Scottish musician, presenter, stand-up comedian, actor, and artist. In 2014, Connolly announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer as well as Parkinson’s disease.
In 2019, he said:
“My life, it’s slipping away and I can feel it and I should. I’m 75, I’m near the end. I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning.”
”But it doesn’t frighten me, it’s an adventure and it is quite interesting to see myself slipping away.”
#13 Muhammad Ali
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984. His doctors attributed the condition to brain injuries from years of boxing.
Muhammad died in 2016, 32 years after he was diagnosed with PD.
#14 Alan Alda
Alan Alda is an American actor, screenwriter, comedian, director, and author. Alda played Hawkeye Pierce in the war television series ”M*A*S*H.”
In 2015, Alan received the diagnosis of PD. Three years later, Alan revealed the diagnosis to the public. He also said:
“I could see my thumb twitch in some shots and I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.”