Alan Alda wants to destigmatize Parkinson's disease


Alan Alda hopes he can help to destigmatize Parkinson's disease.

The 82-year-old actor - who is best known for his role in the TV series 'M*A*S*H' - revealed last month that he's been diagnosed with the disease, but Alan hopes he can clear up some of the common misconceptions about Parkinson's by speaking about his own experiences.

He told the 'Today' show: "I'm doing great and I hope the world is not saddened because the whole idea of talking about it was to try to help people lose this stigma.

"It's hard to keep a secret, especially if your hands shake or if you other symptoms."

Alan explained that in spite of the challenges he's facing, he' still "doing very well".

He continued: "It's much more easy to live your life if you just frankly say, 'Yeah, I have got Parkinson's and I'm working on it' - I am working on it and doing very well."

In July, Alan revealed he was diagnosed with the disease three-and-a-half years ago, but said he wanted to be open about his diagnosis before someone did a "sad" story on him.

He shared: "I was diagnosed three-and-a-half years ago and I've had a full life since then.

"I've acted, I've given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook. I started this new podcast. And I noticed that - I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast - and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots and I thought, it's probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that's not where I am."