Michael J. Fox Featured in New Video About Living With Parkinson’s Disease
Michael J. Fox was already an A-List actor when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in 1991. Best known for his roles in Family Ties and the Back to the Future film trilogy, Fox has used the past twenty years of his life to raise awareness for Parkinson’s, as well as continuing his acting career. Recently, he made a return to the format he grew up in, starring in the new sitcom The Michael J. Fox Show.
However, the new show isn’t slowing Fox’s efforts to spread the word about PD. He is featured in a new educational video by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Parkinson’s Disease: A Guide for Patients and Families.
The video is currently viewable on YouTube, but the AAN plans to also make it available on DVD for free in 2014. In the video, Fox urges patients of PD to research and learn more about their condition.
Fox further explained his involvement in the video in an article in the AAN’s Neurology Now. He says, “One of the reasons I really wanted to be part of the DVD was to help get the message out that the quest for a cure depends on patients and their lived ones participating in clinical research.”
Not content to stay on the sidelines, Fox has done more than talk. He has helped launch a study into the connection between Parkinson’s and loss of smell. The majority of PD patients have lost some of their ability to smell by the time they are diagnosed, but it is widely believed the process begins before noticeable motor symptoms are present. The study involves a scratch-and-sniff test mailed to participants as a way to identify people who have yet to develop PD but have loss of smelll, suggesting they may later be diagnosed.
To date, the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) has funded $375 million for PD research, and it is notable that Fox’s first starring role in 13 years in The Michael J. Fox Show is a character who is also living with the condition.