Alan Alda Reveals He's Diagnosed With Parkinson's Disease
WENN/Alberto Reyes

The 'M*A*S*H' actor decided to reveal about his condition three and a half years after he received his diagnosis because he didn't want 'somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view.'

AceShowbiz - Alan Alda has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The "M*A*S*H" actor, who won countless Golden Globe and Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Army doctor Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce in the much-loved TV series, revealed his medical diagnosis on CBS' "This Morning" on Tuesday, July 31.

"I'm doing great, you might be surprised to hear that... I haven't said in public until now, that I've been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease," he told the show's hosts. "And the reason that I want to talk about it in public... I was diagnosed three and a half years ago, and I've had a full life since then. I've acted, I've given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook. I started this new podcast. And I noticed that - 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."

Explaining how he asked his doctor to test him for Parkinson's despite showing no physical symptoms, Alan shared that he became suspicious after reading an article in The New York Times about how acting out your night-time dreams could be an early indicator of the condition, which causes sufferers to involuntarily shake and move slowly.

"I was having a dream where someone was attacking me and I threw a sack of potatoes at them, but what I was really doing was throwing a pillow at my wife," he said with a smile.

"The thing I want folks to know, and this is not to shortchange people with really severe symptoms, but in the very beginning to be immobilised by fear and think the worst thing has happened to you - it hasn't happened to you, there are still things you can do. I'm taking boxing lessons three times a week. I do singles tennis. Marching to march music is good for Parkinson's."

Fellow actor Michael J. Fox, who confirmed his own Parkinson's diagnosis in 1998, has also proved there is life after being diagnosed, and has continued to work despite battling the condition.

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