Alan Alda Reveals Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis

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Alan Alda, the veteran and beloved actor, who is also a six-time Emmy Award winner, announced on Tuesday morning that he has Parkinson's disease.

The long-time star, who anchored one of the most popular programs of all-time (M.A.S.H.) as combat doctor Hawkeye Pierce, opened up about this condition in an interview with CBS today.

"I was diagnosed three-and-a-half years ago and I've had a full life since then," the 82-year-old said, adding:

"I've acted, I've given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook, I've started this new podcast."

Alan Alda

Wow.

As you can tell, this diagnosis has not slowed Alda down one bit.

He didn't even really plan on going public with the news until he realized that he might not have a choice.

"I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast – and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots and I thought, it's probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that's not where I am," he explained on air.

The podcast to which he keeps referring is called Clear+Vivid. It explores all the ways in which people communicate with each other.

Alda also emphasized during this interview that he isn't "angry" about what has happened to him.

Alan Alda on West Wing

The widely respected star has enjoyed memorable stints on such hits shows as the West Wing, 30 Rock, The Big C, The Blacklist and, most recently, The Good Fight.

"There are some common symptoms, but mostly everybody's different and each day is different from the next," Alda said about his illness.

"One day you wake up, you think, oh, it's over, it's gone. Next day it's back a little worse. You don't know what it's going to be, but the main thing is, there's stuff you can do and I've been -- you know how I look at it?

"It's like a puzzle to be solved. What do I have to adapt to to carry on a normal life? And I enjoy solving puzzles."

Alan Alda on The Good Fight

What an admirable attitude.

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that results in movement-related problems, commonly referred to as "motor" functions. 

Symptoms can include impaired balance and coordination, slurred speech and difficulty walking.

Fellow actor Michael J. Fox has been open about his own diagnosis for years.

Watch Alda's full interview on the subject here.

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