In a candid interview, renowned Gracie family member reveals his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative condition, significantly impacts neurological health and motor skills.
This chronic illness progressively deteriorates the individual’s Central Nervous System (CNS), leading to a decline in movement and overall well-being. Kyra Gracie shared an interview on her YouTube channel where BJJ and Vale tudo legend Rickson Gracie discussed his struggle with the disease.
According to the report, the Brazilian combat sports icon learned of his Parkinson’s diagnosis two years ago. The 63-year-old acknowledged experiencing hand tremors and movement impairments caused by the disease. However, he maintains that the diagnosis was not traumatic. In his own words:
“I’m ready for anything in my life… I accept not only my mistakes, but also my victories. I accept life and what I’ve done, so I’m happy today. But this neurologic condition opened my eyes to my age and to reality. It hasn’t changed much since then, but I have some hand tremors, a certain movement deficiency, things I didn’t have before.”
“The symptoms don’t bother me much because my motivation to get up in the morning and work are still here.”
Furthermore, Rickson Gracie sees the disease not as a surprise but as a divine gift. He considers Parkinson’s a challenge from God, which he can transform for good.
Expressing his gratitude for jiu-jitsu, he intends to continue working for the art and make it more accessible to those who need it. He emphasizes living his life without worrying about what the future holds.
Muhammad Ali had young-onset tremor-dominant idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, which was chronic, progressive, and responsive to dopamine.
While there is uncertainty about the contribution of Parkinson’s disease versus head trauma to his symptoms, extensive clinical evaluations and medical examinations over 20 years support the diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
Ali exhibited classic symptoms of the disease and underwent various imaging studies that confirmed the diagnosis. He also experienced other related complications, such as sleep disorders and cognitive decline.
New data from Boston University suggests that contact sports athletes may be at increased risk for Lewy Body Disease (LBD), which can cause Parkinson’s disease. The study found that the number of years exposed to contact sports was associated with the development of neocortical LBD. LBD is associated with motor disorders, parkinsonism, and dementia. The relationship between contact sports and LBD appears to be independent of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) pathology.