NEUROLOGIST SAYS PACQUIAO HAS SHOWN EARLY SIGNS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Fri, 04 Jan 2013
A neurologist who is president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines has been quoted as saying that Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has shown early signs of Parkinson’s disease which his trainer Freddie Roach and heavyweight icon Muhammad Ali are suffering from.
ABS-CBN’s website reported that Dr. Rustico Jimenez told radio station dzMM that among the early signs of Parkinson's shown by Pacquiao include stuttering and hand twitching.
While Dr. Jimenez conceded that he could be wrong in his observations since he had not personally examined the eight division world champion but that he had noted the signs of Parkinson’s during TV interviews marked by the twitching of his hands.
The neurologist joined several others in urging Pacquiao to hang up his gloves in order not to risk a worsening of what is described as a progressive disorder of the nervous system.
ABS-CBN quoted Dr. Jimenez as saying he noted the movement and although Pacquiao’s reflexes were quick his personal view was that he appeared to show early signs of Parkinson’s disease. He said he noted the hand twitching although he didn’t notice a similar twitching of the head at once although he said it also twitched slightly although he didn’t see him close up.
The neurologist told the Manila Standard “we all want him (Pacquiao) always in the pink of health. We want him to ride into the sunset and enjoy his fortune, fame and family ad a healthy man when he gets old.“
Dr. Jimenez supported the position of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who told the Manila Standard a couple of days after Pacquiao suffered a crushing 6th round knockout at the hands of Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8 that he would insist on Pacquiao having a thorough brain evaluation at the world famous Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Brain Center in Las Vegas.
Dr. Jimenez urged Pacquiao to undergo a battery of tests in the US just to make sure. He said there are several neurological centers in the US which he could choose where he could undergo tests such as PET Scans and the like.
The Standard said the neurologist noted there are chemical tests that could be undertaken which are “very complicated and not available here” in the Philippines.
Longtime friend and confidant, promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud agreed with Dr. Jimnenez’ suggestions for tests in the US. Salud said he personally didn’t notice any twitching or stammering but he (Jimenez) is a doctor and he knows. He should undergo the tests for peace of mind.
Both the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Filipino doctors have cleared Pacquiao following tests conducted after the Marquez fight but because of head traumas suffered over 17 years of boxing against such big and strong fighters as Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito and his three fights against Erik “El Terrible” Morales and two fights with Marco Antonio Barrera.
Dr. Jimenez stressed “we don’t want him wheelchair bound. Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, once it hits it it will continue and we don’t want that to happen to our source of national pride.”
His unsolicited advise from a doctor’s viewpoint is “it would be best if he retires because the more blows to the head he gets, the bigger the chance of getting the disease.”
Pacquiao is in Israel along with his family and is expected back home on January 8. Efforts to contact his adviser Michael Koncz have proved futile.
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