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How Muhammad Ali Changed the Way We Look at Parkinson’s Disease

Known as “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali is recognized for changing the world of boxing during his career as a heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist. Although he was a prominent figure in American history, the athlete also earned a significant amount of recognition due to his dedication to raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years. Ali was diagnosed with the condition at an early age in 1984 after spending his adult life in the ring and sustaining sufficient head trauma. He continued to box after the diagnosis, although his movements became slower and resulted in decreased performance toward the end of his career.

Many Parkinson’s patients recall having a connection with Muhammad Ali due to his courage to be vulnerable and publically fight his disease. Ali met with Michael J. Fox and the U.S. Congress to fund research for a cure in 1998. He continued to raise awareness by working with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease for several years and raised money at multiple fundraisers including Celebrity Fight Night.

In 1997, Ali founded the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ, with his wife Lonnie and one of his physicians, Dr. Abraham Lieberman. The facility is known for reaching out to those in the community who need support and assistance dealing with Parkinson’s and other degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. This has given thousands of patients the support they need to live full lives with their Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia caregivers in Albuquerque and around the world.

The facility additionally benefits those who may not be able to afford the programs on a regular basis and improves each patient’s quality of life. This allows individuals to stay busy with physical and cognitive activities that benefit their wellbeing in between doctor’s visits and treatment sessions. Although Ali may no longer be contributing to the center, his efforts and positive outlook are continuing to inspire others to remain hopeful and works towards a cure.

If you currently care for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease, boost his or her quality of life with help from a trusted home care agency in Albuquerque. Our reliable Care Managers customize care plans for seniors with PD, which enables them to get the help they need without compromising their independence or self worth. When you let our professional caregivers into your loved one’s home, he or she will help your loved one with daily tasks around the house such as cooking, cleaning, mobility training, and personal care. Call 505-798-0800 today to learn how our Parkinson’s caregivers can help your loved one.