Michael J. Fox is well-known for starring in our old favorites like Back to the Future and Teen Wolf. He has also become well-known for being an advocate of medical marijuana and CBD oil to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that occurs when brain cells that makedopamine—a chemical that coordinates movement—stop working or die. Parkinson’s disease can cause tremors, slowness, stiffness, and balance and mental health problems. In some cases, it can also lead to depression and memory issues. There is not yet a definitive cure for this disease.
Michael J. Fox was first diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991, at the age of 29. After keeping the diagnosis to himself for seven years to learn to cope with it, Michael J. Fox went public about his Parkinson’s in 1998.
“I’m not about measuring how long something will last or how long can I do this. It’s pointless. It’s just something you face, and you carry on,” Fox states in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, regarding how he learned to cope with his diagnosis.
Seeing how meager the funds for research on Parkinson’s were, Michael J. Fox decided to create his own foundation to raise money targeted towards treatment of the disease. In 2000, he created the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF)—dedicated to raising money for research, treatment, and ultimately a cure for the crippling disease. Today, the Foundation has raised nearly one billion dollars towards this cause.
One management treatment that MJFF focuses on is medical marijuana—particularly the use of CBD oil.
CBD is the medicinal, non-mind-altering component of cannabis. Research has shown that it can help treat and/or manage a wide spectrum of health issues, so it’s no surprise that CBD oil may be able to benefit people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
It appears that CBD candy raises the levels of dopamine in the body naturally, without the harmful side effects that are associated with using pharmaceuticals to do the same. The raised dopamine eases involuntary shaking and muscle seizures, as well as lessening pain around sore joints, and allowing Parkinson’s sufferers greater mobility.
CBD oil has also been shown to increase mood levels and ease anxieties, which would offer people who struggle daily with Parkinson’s some relief when their situation feels too overwhelming.
Michael J. Fox reportedly uses CBD to manage some of his symptoms, and he recommends that other Parkinson’s suffers try the same.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is the largest non-profit foundation researching Parkinson’s in the world, and it continues to research treatments and provide valuable resources for people dealing with this disease. The amount of progress that has been made towards finding a cure would likely not have been possible without Michael J. Fox’s persistence and dedication.
In a CBS interview, Jane Pauley tells Fox that “this couldn’t have happened to a better person,” acknowledging Fox’s dedication to finding a cure because of the diagnosis he was dealt.
And Fox responds: “Yeah, I’m getting used to that idea.”