Muhammad Ali’s Parkinson’s Journey w/ May May Ali and Michael S. Okun, MD

When Life Gives You Parkinson’s

Muhammad Ali’s Parkinson’s Journey w/ May May Ali and Michael S. Okun, MD

January 31, 2023

Muhammad Ali’s Parkinson’s Journey w/ May May Ali and Michael S. Okun, MD

January 17 marks the 81st anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest Parkinson’s advocates of all time, Muhammad Ali. In this episode, we learn more about the champ’s journey from his eldest daughter Maryum “May May” Ali – the stigma her father dealt with after his diagnosis, when she first noticed changes in her dad, struggles with speaking and medication, and how he improved his quality of life. 

In addition to exploring Ali’s Parkinson’s legacy, Dr. Michael S. Okun, the head of neurology for the University of Florida Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, sheds light on Ali’s PD diagnosis. Okun and two other neurologists, the final three neurologists to treat Ali over the course of many years, published an article in October 2022 to clear up misinformation about his diagnosis. Ali was a young onset Parkinson’s disease patient that responds to Levodopa which is different if his Parkinson’s onset due to his boxing career and punches to the head.  

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Maryum “May May” Ali – website


Muhammad Ali and Young-Onset Idiopathic Parkinson Disease—The Missing Evidence

Thanks to Curiouscast

Dila Velazquez – Story Producer

Our Presenting Partner is Parkinson Canada. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada, call the toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 or on Twitter you can message @ParkinsonCanada.

Thanks also to our content and promotional partners 

The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s IQ + You Events

PD Avengers – We are building a global alliance to end Parkinson’s. Join us

World Parkinson Congress 2023 – It’s time to make your congress and hotel registrations. Details on the website. 

Spotlight YOPD – One of the only Parkinson’s organizations dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. 

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