Billy Connolly health: ‘I sleep like a wild animal’ Star reveals symptoms of his condition
Billy Connolly, 76, described his life as “slipping away” in a BBC documentary about his Parkinson’s disease. The condition causes parts of the brain to become progressively damaged over the years, and one of the most notable symptoms is involuntary sharking of particular parts of the body. Now the star has revealed his Parkinson’s affects his sleep and he can no longer sleep in the same bed as wife Pamela Stephenson. Speaking to Mirror.co.uk, Billy said the condition causes him disturbed nights.
I sleep like a wild animal. Laughing and singing or having fights. Pamela has to sleep in another bed
He said: “I sleep like a wild animal. Laughing and singing or having fights. Pamela has to sleep in another bed.”
The star admitted he is concerned he has “become a pain in the arse”, but credited his wife of 30 years for plumping his pillows for him every night.
He added: “So far, she has never tutted. And she’s a rather attractive nurse. “
Billy experiences “good days and bad days” with his condition, and alongside disturbed sleep he struggles to perform tasks like putting money into his wallet.
To slow the effects of the condition, the funnyman takes daily medication.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
There are three main symptoms associated with the condition, according to the NHS. These include:
- Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
- Slow movement
- Stiff and inflexible muscles
As well as these physical symptoms, Parkinson’s disease can also cause a wide range of psychological symptoms.
These can include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Balance problems (this may increase the chances of a fall)
- Loss of sense of smell
- Problems sleeping
- Memory problems
If you’re concerned you may have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, see a GP.
The condition is thought to affect around one in 500 people, with most people starting to develop symptoms when they’re over 50.
How is Parkinson’s treated?
There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but the NHS also lists the treatments available to help reduce the main symptoms.
- Supportive treatments, such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy
- In some cases, brain surgery
What causes Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s UK explains: “People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that make it have died.
“We don’t yet know exactly why people get Parkinson’s, but researchers think it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors that cause the dopamine-producing nerve cells to die.”
Another symptom of Parkinson’s disease may appear in a person’s handwriting.
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