Michael J. Fox talks about “huge” breakthrough in detecting Parkinson’s after tough year with the disease

Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson’s Disease, opened up about a challenging year for his health but mentioned feeling better now.

Speaking to Stat News, the 61-year-old actor also highlighted the significance of new groundbreaking research on the disease.

Michael also revealed that he had experienced multiple fractures, including in his hand and face, from falls in the past year. He is married to actress Tracy Pollan.

The iconic actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a young age of 29, shared insights about a groundbreaking discovery in Parkinson’s research.

Thanks to funding from his Michael J. Fox Foundation, researchers have identified a specific misfolded protein that can serve as a diagnostic marker for Parkinson’s Disease.

The discovery of the misfolded protein alpha-synuclein as a diagnostic marker for Parkinson’s Disease has been described as a ‘game changer’ in the field of diagnostics, research, and treatment trials, according to a medical journal cited by the outlet.

Currently, alpha-synuclein can only be detected through a spinal tap, but scientists are hopeful that one day it can be detected through less invasive methods such as blood tests, nose swabs, or skin biopsies.

The groundbreaking research, which highlighted the significance of alpha-synuclein, was made possible by the funding from Michael J. Fox’s foundation, established in 2010. The study, involving 1,123 participants, was published in The Lancet Neurology and reportedly cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Michael, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991 at the age of 29 and went public with it in 1998, expressed his excitement about the discovery, stating, ‘This is the thing. This is the big reward. This is the big trophy,’ in his interview with the outlet.

Michael’s documentary titled “STILL: A Michael J. Fox” is set to premiere on Apple TV+ on May 12th, following its screening at the Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival last month.

During the festival, Michael was asked about how he inspires people to care about Parkinson’s Disease. He responded, ‘I didn’t have a choice. This is it. I have to give everything I have, and it’s not lip service. I show up and do the best I can,’ as reported by People.

He further explained, ‘Pity is a benign form of abuse. I can feel sorry for myself, but I don’t have time for that. There is stuff to be learned from this, so let’s do that and move on.’