According to neurologist Dr. Rustico Jimenez, Manny Pacquiao may have Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that attacks the central nervous system.
While Jimenez has not examined Pacquiao in person, according to Forbes, he became concerned about the Filipino phenom’s health after he got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last month.
“Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement – it’s just another view, my personal view – but it seems like there are early signs. There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It’s in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven’t seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.”
Dr. Jimenez isn’t the first to show concern that Pacquiao may suffer from Parkinson’s. Dr. Raquel del-Rosario Fortun, the “first Filipino Woman Forensic Pathologist,” was “alarmed” by Pacquiao’s CT scan results after his loss to Marquez.
“When the brain gets shook like that, it’s very dangerous,” Fortun said. “Since it’s not truly fixed to you skull, when your brain gets shaken, there are connections that get cut off, and you get small hemorrhages.”
Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s syndrome are common among boxers, especially late in their careers. Both Muhammad Ali and Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, suffer from Parkinson’s. Ali had been boxing for 24 years before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome at the age of 42. Roach began boxing professionally in 1978 when he was 18 and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Pacquiao, 34, began his professional boxing career 18 years ago when he was only 16.
Pacquiao has dismissed the doctor’s concerns, saying they “show a total of lack of ethics” and were “irresponsible.” He still plans to fight in April and will face Marquez for a fifth time in September.
Do you think Manny Pacquiao should retire if he is officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s?