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A Famous Boxer and His Decades-Long Fight with Parkinson’s Symptoms

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Muhammad Ali will be remembered for his great boxing skills, but many people will also remember him as being one of the strongest fighters within the Parkinson’s community. Ali had to manage many symptoms of the disease before his passing, but he showed great resilience while doing so. Granite Bay, CA, elder care experts examine some of these symptoms and how they can potentially affect others with Parkinson’s.

His Slurred Speech

Muhammad Ali was sometimes referred to as the “Louisville Lip” because he was originally from Louisville, KY, and also because he talked a lot of “trash” while fighting in the boxing ring. However, after developing Parkinson’s disease, Ali’s speech was significantly affected. He would continue to make some public appearances as the years went by, especially events that benefited other people with Parkinson’s disease, but he was unable to speak during the later stages of his condition.

Changes in His Sleep Patterns

Ali’s wife, Lonnie, often spoke out about the impact Parkinson’s had on her husband’s ability to sleep. He would struggle to get comfortable, and at times it would be difficult for him to sleep throughout the night. Sleep disturbances are one of the most common complications associated with this disease. One of the main causes of insomnia is Parkinson’s disease, but prescribed medications for insomnia can cause excessive sleepiness. If you have an elderly loved one with Parkinson’s and he or she is experiencing any changes in sleeping patterns, speak to a doctor about possible treatment options.

Why His Mobility Was Impaired

Parkinson’s also affected Ali’s mobility. Doctors prescribed medications to help alleviate the symptoms associated with the disease, but one side of his body continued to be stiff and his arms did not swing as he walked. As the disease progressed, his symptoms became more severe.

The Cause of Ali’s Death

Although most people with Parkinson’s do not die from the disease itself, the illness can lead to other fatal complications. Ali passed away due to a respiratory infection caused by his disease. Fatal falls are common among seniors with Parkinson’s, especially those in stages IV and V, and aspiration, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis are other dangerous health complications caused by the condition.

Parkinson’s symptoms can be difficult to manage, but the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance can make life easier for your senior loved one. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist with exercise, meal prep, bathing, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. For more information on the Parkinson’s home care Granite Bay, Folsom, and Placer County families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a free in-home consultation.