Mike Tindall on the ‘hardest thing’ about his father’s illness

I’m a Celeb: Commentator asks ‘what tea Mike Tindall will spill’

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Returning this autumn on ITV, the usual double act, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, will be reporting on this year’s Bushtucker Trials. Taking place in South Africa, 2022 stars of the jungle might include EastEnders’ Danny Dyer, Olympic diver Tom Daley, and Mike Tindall. Mike is a former professional rugby player, and if he does appear in the reality TV show, he will be the first royal to do so.

While not necessarily a royal from blood, he is married to Prince Anne’s daughter, Zara, whose grandmother is the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Mike’s father, Philip, has Parkinson’s disease, which he has suffered from for more than 20 years.

“The hardest thing to get across to people [is that Parkinson’s] can affect anyone at any time,” Mike said on BBC Breakfast in April 2022.

“There are 40 symptoms that come with Parkinson’s and not all of them are motor functions.

“Some of them are sleep problems, depression, confusion… the list is endless.”

The 43-year-old added: “Sometimes the ones that aren’t visual are the ones that hurt the most, chronic pain for example.”

The father-of-three stated his dad was on a “massive concoction of drugs” to help alleviate symptoms.

“It is a real tough balancing act to find the right thing; it’s ongoing and needs assessing all the time.”

Parkinson’s disease

The leading charity Parkinson’s UK states: “Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition.

“This means that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time.”

People who develop Parkinson’s have depleting levels of the chemical dopamine in the brain.

While researchers “don’t yet know” why Parkinson’s occurs in the first place, the assumption is that there is an interplay of age, genetics, and environmental factors.

There are, as Mike said, 40 symptoms of Parkinson’s, which is echoed by Parkinson’s UK.

“Common symptoms” include: tremor, stiffness, slowness of movement, mild memory and thinking problems, sleep issues, pain, and anxiety.

The way symptoms progress is unpredictable, as each person will experience the condition in their own way.

“A very small number of Parkinson’s cases are hereditary and researchers are looking into why this happens,” the charity added.

Most cases of Parkinson’s will be treated via medication, physical activities and therapies.

Therapy treatments include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.

Complementary therapies include: aromatherapy, massage, and conductive education.

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