Alan Alda, best known for his Emmy Award-winning portraying of "Hawkeye" Pierce in the television series "M*A*S*H," told "CBS This Morning" Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Alda, 82, told the morning show that he went to get checked out and was diagnosed three-and-a-half years ago after reading an article saying that one of the earliest signs of the disease is acting out your 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," Alda said on the show.
Alda, who started performing on Broadway in 1959, starred in "M*A*S*H" from 1972 to 1983 and earned more than 20 nominations and four Emmy wins for his work there.
The actor, who had stint on the series "The West Wing," also boasts movie credits, including "Same Time, Next Year," "The Four Seasons," and "The Aviator," for which he received an Oscar nomination.
"I've had a full life since [the diagnosis]," Alda told "CBS This Morning." "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," he continued.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, with an estimated lifetime risk of approximately 1 in 100 persons.
The CDC states that approximately two-thirds of Parkinson's cases are sporadic while the remainder are familial.
"There are some common symptoms, but mostly everybody's different and each day is different from the next," Alda said on the morning show. "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 carry on a normal life? And I enjoy solving puzzles."
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