Muhammad Ali is diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome in 1984, a disease for which those subject to severe head trauma, such as boxers, are many times more susceptible. Despite the disability, he remains a beloved and active public figure.

Muhammad Ali is perhaps the most recognizable face in the world. As a championship boxer who is considered by most experts to one of the best fighters of all time, Muhammad Ali transcended the world of sports. He became a champion of social causes; he fought the government when he refused

induction into the armed forces based on religious grounds; and, because of his popularity and charisma, he became a well-known spokesman for a myriad of companies and causes. He was much more than just a boxer, but his name will always be linked with his outstanding boxing career. And, unfortunately, as is plain for all the world to see, Muhammad Ali is sick. He can barely speak; he can barely walk without assistance; his hands tremble and shake. It's almost painful to juxtapose Muhammad Ali's current state with that of his "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" self; the Muhammad Ali who dazzled opponents with his blinding hand and foot speed, and the Muhammad Ali who would brag, boast, and proclaim that "I am the Greatest!" That Muhammad Ali is forever entombed in the world of video and fight footage, never to be heard from again. Muhammad Ali has Parkinson's Syndrome, a neurological condition that affects motor and speech control. While it's clear as to what Ali's affliction is, it's been a point of controversy over whether or not Ali's Parkinson's-like affliction was the direct result of his boxing career or not.

In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with pugilistic Parkinson's syndrome, from which his motor functions had begun a slow decline. Ali remains a hero to millions, and in 1996, he was given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame in Atlanta, Georgia. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2005.