Fight against Parkinson's continues in Alabama - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Fight against Parkinson's continues in Alabama

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Paul Scott's fight against Parkinson's is in honor of his father, a man who fought in WWII.

"I watched a 6'3", 230 lb. great father turn into an invalid," Scott explained.

As president of the Parkinson's Association of Central Alabama, Scott works to raise money for research to treat the symptoms and eventually cure the disease. Parkinson's disease affects the nervous system. Some people have mild symptoms that are barely noticeable while others have tremors that affect the way they walk and talk.

"It affects every walk of life," Scott stated, "in our city, in our state, in the United States." 

Approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson's each year and more than 1 million Americans are currently living with the disease. 

Having a celebrity diagnosed with an illness can increase the contributions to help fight that illness. According to the Parkinson's Association of Central Alabama, Michael J. Fox has raised half a billion dollars since he revealed his own fight with the disease.

Muhammad Ali and Robin Williams were both diagnosed before their deaths. Jeff Cook, with the country music band Alabama, made his fight with the disease public Tuesday. He was diagnosed four years ago but kept it private to keep playing music.

"I know all the Alabama band fans are saddened by this announcement by there's great room for hope," said Doug Lindley. "There's great research going on." Lindley founded the Parkinson's Association after his own diagnosis eight years ago.

2017 marks 200 years since James Parkinson discovered the disease. Lindley said they're closer to finding a cure today than they have been in the last two centuries.

"It takes a lot of money to do the kind of research that leads to a cure for something that's been around for 200 years and they haven't discovered it yet. They've made more progress in the last five years than in the first 195."

For more information on Parkinson's and for resources in Central Alabama, you can visit the Parkinson's Association of Central Alabama website.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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