Though Muhammad Ali will go down in history as one of the greatest boxers of all time, he was more than just a 3-time heavyweight champion. For over 3 decades, he fought a legendary battle against Parkinson’s and became a source of inspiration for others facing similar challenges with the disease. Lancaster, PA, senior care professionals discuss Ali’s life with Parkinson’s and the ways he chose to fight the condition.
Ali’s Disease Was Difficult to Diagnose
Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging to diagnose and treat because its symptoms are so varied. This is just one of the reasons it took so many years for doctors to finally diagnose Ali with the disease and begin his treatments. Ali’s doctors initially attributed his unusual behavior and motor difficulties to repeated concussions, past viral infections, and even metal toxicity.
He Exhibited Symptoms at a Young Age
Long before Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, his family, friends, and doctors all began to notice he was exhibiting symptoms like slow movements, impaired balance, minor tremors, slurred speech, and memory loss. Ali was eventually diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the relatively young age of 42. At that point, his symptoms had become so severe they could no longer be ignored.
He Used Dopamine Treatments
Like many other people in the 80s and 90s who were living with Parkinson’s, the first treatment Ali underwent for his condition was dopamine replacement therapy. Because his body could no longer produce an ample amount of this vital substance, he was given injections of a synthetic form of dopamine. Though this treatment helps alleviate many Parkinson’s symptoms, it can also cause side effects like tics and tremors. Side effects such as these occur when people respond too well to their treatments and cannot control many of their motor functions.
He Created a Treatment Center
The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Arizona now helps thousands of people with Parkinson’s by offering some of the most advanced treatments in the world. The specialists at this center offer management strategies to enhance quality of life for people with Parkinson’s, and work aggressively in an attempt to find a cure for the disease. This includes medications like dopamine agonists, levodopa, and carbidopa. Deep brain stimulation is another popular treatment option for advanced cases when a person does not respond to medication.
Though Parkinson’s can be challenging to manage, seniors with the disease can still live healthy and fulfilling lives. If your aging loved one needs help managing Parkinson’s symptoms, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer Parkinson’s home care Lancaster, PA, seniors can count on, our respite and live-in caregivers are available around the clock to assist with a wide array of important tasks, and all of our Parkinson’s care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For more information on our high-quality Parkinson’s care and our other elderly in-home care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (717) 540-4663 today.