Michael J. Fox Admits It's 'Very Possible' His Drinking Habits Caused 'Damage' Potentially Leading to Heartbreaking Parkinson's Diagnosis
Michael J. Fox speculated on what caused his Parkinson’s disease on CBS Sunday Morning. During the candid interview that aired Sunday, April 30, the Back to the Future actor confessed his habits during his younger years could have affected his Parkinson’s diagnosis.
In the interview, the journalist nods at Fox’s acceptance speech when Woody Harrelson presented him with an honorary Oscar Award in November 2022, where Fox joked he and Harrelson "did some damage in the '80s."
"Is it possible you did some damage?" the reporter asked the 61-year-old.
"Yeah, very possible," he replied. "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 was diagnosed with the disease in 1991 at age 29, added that his environment may have also contributed to the illness.
"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," the actor explained.
The official Parkinson’s Foundation site confirms Fox’s statements, reading, "Scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors are the cause of Parkinson's disease."
As OK! previously reported, the ‘80s icon also opened up about how his disease has worsened over the years.
"I’m not gonna be 80," Fox admitted. "Yeah, it’s, it’s banging on the door ... I’m not gonna lie. It’s gettin’ hard, it’s gettin’ harder. It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day it’s tougher."
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Fox then discussed a recent spinal surgery that unfortunately made his condition much more painful.
"I had a tumor on my spine. And it was benign, but it messed up my walking," he explained. "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."
The activist noted the disease has "subtle ways that gets ya," referring to "falling," "aspirating food” and “getting pneumonia."
"You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s," Fox continued. "So – so I’ve been – I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it."
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Despite the somber mood, the father-of-four ended the interview on a high note.
"Still, it's hard to explain to people how lucky I am, because I also have Parkinson's," he shared. "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."