Michael J. Fox Ad: Parkinson's Debate
Perspective: Are Symptoms That Fox Displayed Typical of Parkinson's?
Oct. 25, 2006 - When actor Michael J. Fox appeared in a TV political ad
supporting stem cell research, a flurry of controversy erupted around his
Parkinson's disease symptoms.
Was he exaggerating, as one radio commentator suggested?
Many people don't realize how severe Parkinson's disease can be. This is
largely because most of us have never witnessed these symptoms unless we
personally know someone struggling with this disabling condition.
Fox has a very severe form of Parkinson's that affected him at a young age.
And he's been through many aggressive treatments, including brain surgery.
The symptoms he displayed on the commercial are common Parkinson's disease
In the past we've witnessed his tremor that's so characteristic of
Parkinson's. And his uncontrolled body movements that appeared during the
commercial are also typical of Parkinson's -- and also possibly a side effect
of one of his medications.
Despite all his treatment, Fox continues to have severe Parkinson's symptoms
that are likely getting worse over time.
Unfortunately, medications often may not work that well, especially as the
disease progresses. That's why researchers are working furiously to find new
and improved treatments for Parkinson's.
More information on
and treatment can be found in WebMD's Guide to Parkinson's disease.