Alan Alda revealed today that he has Parkinson’s disease. The award-winning actor, best known for his role in the long-running TV series M*A*S*H, broke the news during an appearance on the CBS This Morning TV news show. Alda said he was first diagnosed with the disease three and a half years ago.
“I decided to let people know I have Parkinson’s to encourage others to take action,” Alda posted on Twitter. “If you get a diagnosis, keep moving!”
Alda (pictured above) is one of many celebrities living with Parkinson’s disease who are raising the profile of this little-understood neurological condition.
Earlier this year, Neil Diamond announced that he was ending his 50th anniversary tour early because of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Many Diamond fans reached out to say they were donating their ticket refunds to Parkinson’s research, among other causes.
The list of well-known people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease includes a former U.S. attorney general, a heavyweight boxing champion, and many stars of the stage and screen.
With their fame, people like actor Michael J. Fox have worked to bring more Parkinson’s disease awareness into their professions, which sometimes value physical perfection over health concerns.
About 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease — and an estimated 7 to 10 million people are living with it worldwide. Patient advocacy helps promote research into this condition that causes, among other problems, balance and coordination difficulties.