Interestingly, Alda got himself diagnosed before his external symptoms manifested. He also acknowleges how challening it can be when PwP’s symptoms become advanced, but had this to say about where he is three and half years after his initial diagnosis. There is more in the linked interview.
"In the very beginning, to be immobilized by fear and think the worst thing has happened to you – it hasn't happened to you. You still have things you can do . . . I'm taking boxing lessons three times a week. I do singles tennis a couple of times a week. I march to Sousa music because marching to music is good for Parkinson's."
Despite the prospect of severe, life-altering symptoms, Alda says he's "not angry."
"Because it's a challenge, you know? You've got to cross the street, there are cars coming. How do you get across the street? You don't just sit on the pavement and say, well, I guess I'll never cross the street again. You find a way to do it," Alda said. "There are some common symptoms, but mostly everybody's different and each day is different from the next. One day you wake up, you think, oh, it's over, it's gone. Next day it's back a little worse. You don't know what it's going to be, but the main thing is, there's stuff you can do and I've been -- you know how I look at it? It's like a puzzle to be solved. What do I have to adapt to to carry on a normal life? And I enjoy solving puzzles."
"It would be kind of ironic if I kept quiet about this when a center for communicating science is named after me. But I think because I'm sort of well-known, it might be helpful to people to hear the message that there are things you can do. You can learn about things and not follow quackery, but find out what real science is coming up with. That helps. It helps to keep moving. It helps to move rhythmically."
He hopes by going public to not just ease the fear others might be feeling, but to also put his own mind at ease.
"I'm not going to worry. While I'm trying to say something else, I'm not going to be thinking, is my thumb on a life of its own. You know, that's just one of the realities of my life. But I've acted in movies since – it's three-and-a-half years since I had the diagnosis and it hasn't stopped my life at all. I've had a richer life than I've had up until now."