Navigation Links
Muhammad Ali's Daughter Champions Fight Against Parkinson's Disease
Date:5/3/2013

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- At 71, boxing legend Muhammad Ali -- the only three-time World Heavyweight Champion -- continues to fight his most challenging opponent ever: Parkinson's disease. And according to his daughter, he's still facing life straight on.

"This is the man who when he was fighting would say 'I'm going to knock the other guy out in five,'" said Maryum (May May) Ali. "That personality translates to how he deals with Parkinson's. No one's really been that confident as an athlete, and that's how he is with the disease."

May May is Ali's first child. Married four times, the former champion has six other daughters and two sons.

Thinking back, May May believes Ali was showing signs of Parkinson's in his second-to-last fight, a few years before his 1984 diagnosis. "You lose your [sense of] smell, get constipation issues," she said. "Most people have those non-motor symptoms first. But no one knew that back then."

Initially, in 1981, Ali was told he had a form of the condition that would not progress, May May said. But it did. As time went by, Ali learned how to manage the symptoms of his disease. He took his medications a couple of hours before working out, and he saw a neurologist who specialized in movement disorders, she explained.

Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which result from the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The four primary symptoms of Parkinson's are trembling in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; stiffness of the limbs and trunk; slowness of movement; and impaired balance and coordination. As the disease progresses, patients may have difficulty walking, talking or completing other simple tasks. In the United States, about 500,000 people have the disease.

"Don't wait until you can't walk down the hallway to get the right advice. You may be able to slow the progression of the disease," May May advised. "Make it your business to know everything you can about what it is that's affecting your life." She also encourages people with Parkinson's to work with a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders.

Committed to raising people's understanding of the disease, May May, 44, has supported the Parkinson Alliance as a spokesperson since 2002. This includes helping publicize its annual Unity Walk, which was held Saturday in New York's Central Park. She also works as a program manager in Los Angeles' gang reduction and youth development program. Divorced, with no children, she said she's committed to helping others and is also studying organizational management at Antioch University.

While some promising new approaches to treating Parkinson's loom on the horizon, researchers say the condition is still poorly understood.

"We have no solid theory of what causes Parkinson's disease," said James Beck, director of research for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. "We still know so little about the disease. A lot of basic science needs to be funded."

Beck said the drugs available now are designed to help reduce disease symptoms but don't attack their cause. Late-stage clinical trials are looking at what role so-called "A2A receptor antagonists" might play in reducing movement problems. Scientists are also testing possible gene therapy and stem cell applications, and looking at mutations in cell proteins associated with Parkinson's to understand what part they might play. They're also looking at what role, if any, the immune system might have in fighting development of the disease, he explained.

"There's a lot of hope for people with Parkinson's disease -- and progress is being made -- but it needs to be measured hope," Beck said.

Ali, now in the later stages of Parkinson's, has 24-hour care. His personality hasn't changed and "there's no doom and gloom with him," said May May. "He'll look at you, nod his head, and sometimes he can talk a bit, depending on the time of day and when he last took his medications."

Ali flies to his homes in Arizona, Kentucky and Michigan, and loves going to baseball games, May May said. "He's still enjoying life."

"As for spending time with my Dad, I enjoy his company still," she added.

More information

Learn more about Parkinson's disease from the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Maryum (May May) Ali, Los Angeles, Calif.; James C. Beck, Ph.D., director of research, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, New York City, and adjunct assistant professor, department of physiology and neuroscience, New York University


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Internal medicine physician specialists release policy paper on reforming Medicaid
2. More Evidence Bilingualism Aids Thinking Skills
3. 3-center study identifies main causes of unprofessional behavior among hospitalists
4. U.S.A. Hurdle Specialist Kellie Wells has Joined Elite Athletes Tiger Woods, Hines Ward and Takaishi Saito in Using Cell Therapy
5. Texas Back Institute Becomes Official Spine Specialist for FC Dallas and the Frisco RoughRiders
6. Health expectancy, a more realistic indicator
7. Triggers study evaluates regular staff, ICU specialists
8. Leading cancer specialists from Europe and beyond recognized at ESMO 2012
9. Unhappy Kids Are More Materialistic, Study Finds
10. Anti-HIV drug simulation offers realistic tool to predict drug resistance and viral mutation
11. Unemployment causes more mental health problems among Somalis in London than in Minneapolis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Muhammad Ali's Daughter Champions Fight Against Parkinson's Disease
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In ... benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued ... Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... client, The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at ... Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Issue 52" report to their offering. ... treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. ... base that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective ... serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , , , WHEN: ... , , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with ... , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice ... Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new ... affiliate in Latin America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: