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  4. Michael J. Fox says it's 'very possible' he 'did some damage' in the '80s as he speculates about what contributed to his Parkinson's disease

Michael J. Fox says it's 'very possible' he 'did some damage' in the '80s as he speculates about what contributed to his Parkinson's disease

Lauren Edmonds   

Michael J. Fox says it's 'very possible' he 'did some damage' in the '80s as he speculates about what contributed to his Parkinson's disease
  • Michael J. Fox spoke about living with Parkinson's disease in the latest episode of "CBS Sunday Morning."
  • He speculated about what may have contributed to his diagnosis.

Michael J. Fox said it's "very possible" that he "did some damage" during the height of his fame while speculating over what may have contributed to his Parkinson's disease diagnosis.

Fox made the comments in an interview with Jane Pauley during the most recent episode of "CBS Sunday Morning." Doctors diagnosed Fox, 61, with Parkinson's disease in 1991 when he was 29 and he told the public in November 1998.

Fox reminisced about his career during the interview, including when fellow actor Woody Harrelson presented him with an honorary Oscar Award in November 2022. At the time, Fox joked that he and Harrelson "did some damage in the '80s."

"Is it possible you did some damage?" Pauley asked Fox on Sunday, referring to his diagnosis.

"Yeah, very possible," Fox said. "I mean, there's so many ways that you can... that I could've hurt myself. I could've hit my head. I could've drank too much at a certain developmental period."

Fox, who founded a Parkinson's disease research foundation, continued that his diagnosis is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

"Most likely I think is, that I was exposed to some kind of chemical. What we say is that genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger," Fox said.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that mostly affects the dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, according to Parkinson's Foundation. The site states that "scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors are the cause of Parkinson's disease."

In the same interview, Fox said living with Parkinson's disease is "getting harder" and he doesn't expect to live to 80 years old.

"I'm not going to lie. It's getting hard. It's getting harder. It's getting tougher. Every day it's tougher. But that's the way it is," Fox said, adding that he's broken several bones and undergone spinal surgery.

"I had spinal surgery. I had a tumor on my spine. And it was benign, but it messed up my walking," Fox told the outlet. "And then, started to break stuff. Broke this arm, and I broke this arm. I broke this elbow. I broke my face. I broke my hand."

He later added: "Still, it's hard to explain to people how lucky I am, because I also have Parkinson's. Some days are a struggle. Some days are more difficult than others. But the disease is this thing that's attached to my life — it isn't the driver."




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