Muhammad Ali’s Fight with Parkinson’s

Muhammad Ali’s Fight with Parkinson’s

KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE) – The tremors are sometimes hard to deal with.

“This right arm doesn’t stop shaking most of time,” said Raymond Dearmitt.

He says it’s more than just the shaking.

“Right now, I’m losing my taste buds and smell,” said Dearmitt. He’s had Parkinson’s disease for at least eight years. The illness involves the death of vital cells in the brain which leads to a loss of control of movement and coordination. Each day is a battle – one thousands of people have tried to beat, including legendary boxer Muhammad Ali who died last Friday.

Dr. Kristina Dorkoski is a therapist at the Heinz Rehab Center and helps patients with Parkinson’s disease. While no specific causes or cure has been found – yet – Dorkoski says there has been significant progress in terms of improving the day-to-day life of those coping with Parkinson’s.

“We know through studies of people who have done high intensity aerobic training, many patients are able to improve quality of life and function,” said Dorkoski.

She says that training in combination with medication and Parkinson’s specific rehab, doctors are able to help delay later stages of the disease. And she says Ali’s fight against Parkinson’s will continue to help others.

“One of the great things that he’s done through his Muhammad Ali foundation is incorporate some of the exercise classes that I’ve been talking about,” said Dorkoski.