Mike Tindall wishes he ‘paid more interest’ to his dad’s Parkinson’s

Mike Tindall confirmed for I’m a Celebrity

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The former rugby player described his father as a “typical northern bloke” who ignored one of the first warning signs that something wasn’t right. Tindall recalled his father, Philip, had been struggling with small cramped writing – one of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease. When Philip did seek medical advice, and was diagnosed with the progressive condition, Tindall himself admitted he remained “fairly blasé about it”.

Acting nonchalant for the “next six or seven years” following the diagnosis, Tindall now regrets he didn’t push his father to do more to hinder its progression.

“I feel that if I’d have taken more notice then, I could have made him get on top of staying physically fit and in shape,” Tindall revealed.

“But that’s all hindsight, because it’s the knowledge that I have now that might not have been there in 2003.

“I wish I’d paid more interest in what was going on with Parkinson’s and done a little bit more research back then.”

Speaking to experts based at Charco Neurotech – a Cambridge-based company that is developing pioneering treatments for the illness – Tindall expressed how “tricky” Parkinson’s disease is.

“Even now [my dad] still doesn’t have a great understanding of Parkinson’s… he knows how it affects him though.

“One thing you quickly find out about Parkinson’s is that every case is very much different and individual, and so that’s why it’s very tricky.”

The symptoms of Parkinson’s

The charity Parkinson’s UK has highlighted the 10 early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease.

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Bodily sensations such as tremors, stiffness, pain, and restless leg syndrome could cause a person with Parkinson’s to find it difficult to sleep.

Another possible indication of Parkinson’s is “losing your sense of smell”, which can develop “years” before other symptoms of the disease develops.

As with Philip, smaller handwriting can be a key feature of the neurological condition.

Watch out for handwriting that progressively gets smaller as they complete a written sentence.

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There can also be issues with the bladder, which can manifest as needing to go to the toilet frequently throughout the night.

A sense of urgency could develop, which is when the urge to urinate comes on strongly without prior warning.

Parkinson’s disease can also lead to depressive symptoms, such as a sense of emotional emptiness.

“In some cases you may experience depression months before you notice any other symptoms,” the charity adds.

Feelings of anxiety could also emerge during the initial stages of the disease.

As could fatigue and noticing an uncontrollable shaking of a body part, such as the hand.

A shuffling walk could also be a warning sign, in addition to stiffness.

Mike Tindall is walking into the jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! The ITV programme premieres on Sunday, November 6 at 9pm.

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