After revealing he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year, M*A*S*H* star Alan Alda shared how he’s coping with the degenerative disease in a new interview.
Alda, 82, first broke the news about his diagnosis (which he received several years ago) to CBS This Morning in July.
At the time, Alda called the condition "scary," but insisted he was still living a "full life."
I decided to let people know I have Parkinson’s to encourage others to take action. I was Diagnosed 3 and a half years ago, but my life is full. I act, I give talks, I do my podcast, which I love. If you get a diagnosis, keep moving!— Alan Alda (@alanalda) July 31, 2018
"I've acted, I've given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook" he said.
"It’s only about a matter of time before someone does some story about this from a sad point of view, but that's not where I am."
According to the Mayo Clinic, Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that limits a person’s movement, and also causes involuntary movements like tremors.
The disease is degenerative, meaning that it gradually gets worse over time. While some cases develop quickly, certain patients, like actor Michael J. Fox, can learn to cope with their symptoms using medication as they develop more slowly.
Alda was diagnosed after his longtime wife, Arlene, noticed that he was barely moving his arms while he walked, which is an early sign of the condition.
But as the actor is set to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, he says the condition hasn’t slowed him down.
"I’m busy," he told People. "I do occasionally do nothing and sit around. But I believe in doing everything in moderation, including moderation. So far it’s working."
Alda even says he’s taken up boxing and tai chi to stay in shape. He also marches to music, because that type of coordinated exercise is supposedly helpful for Parkinson’s patients.
"My life hasn’t changed much," he said about his diagnosis. "I just applied my curiosity to it. I’m constantly reading and trying to figure out the best approaches. So far it’s really interesting. I think it’s helping me understand a little better that everybody has something they’re coping with."
The actor is still impressing audiences in new roles, including on TV shows like Ray Donovan and The Blacklist, while hosting his podcast Clear+Vivid. But Alsa says he hasn’t "made plans for the future."
"I just try to make the best of what’s in front of me," he said.