There it is a matter that was once personal and private now, personal and public. Speaking on CBS This Morning, Alda said' "he got tested for the disease after reading an article about how one of the early signs of Parkinson's is acting out dreams. I was having a dream that 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,
On NPR's show Science Friday Alda told Ira Flatow that he wanted to get the story out "his own way, a positive way". "it is not a good idea to think of the worse case scenario." He encourages people to get a diagnosis early so that they can get the treatment that will help delay the progress of the disease." Mr. Alda said he felt fortunate to have seen a New York Times article by Jane Brody March 16, 2015 Looking for Parkinson's Sooner, which made him aware of signs and symptoms that can appear up to 5 years before the more familiar symptoms like tremors, rigidity and an unsteady gait.
Ms. Brody reported:
A study, by Dr. Anette Schrag and fellow neurologists at the University College London, was published in The Lancet in January. As many as five years before a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, those who developed it were more likely to have experienced tremor, balance problems, constipation, low blood pressure, dizziness, erectile and urinary dysfunction, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
In addition, Dr. Claire Henchcliffe, director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Institute at Weill Cornell Medical Center, said that REM sleep behavior disorder, characterized by a tendency to act out one’s dreams while asleep, is one of the strongest prediagnostic symptoms, along with a lost sense of smell and subtle changes in cognition."
No one wants a diagnosis of a progressive illness, but knowing about it early and getting the right intervention can mean that the progression will be slowed enhancing the quality of one's life as long as possible.