What Disease Forced Actor Bob Hoskins to Retire?

Veteran British actor Bob Hoskins, probably best known for his roles as PI Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit  and Smee in “Hook” announced today that he is retiring from acting after receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.

Hoskins agent released the following statement:

Hoskins wishes to announce that he will be retiring from acting, following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease last autumn.

He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career.

Bob is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time.

Before Bob Hoskins was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he was seen this year playing Muir, the blind, elder Dwarf, who possesses the powers of premonition in Snow White and the Huntsman.

Bob Hoskins now shares the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease with actor Michael J. Fox and boxing great Muhammad Ali.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a brain disorder of the nerve cells (neurons) in the brain that control movement called the basal ganglia.

One part of the basal ganglia, called the substantia nigra, produces a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is important because it allows for the smooth movement of muscles in the body.

In Parkinson’s Disease, for as of yet unknown reasons,  these brain cells are damaged and stop producing dopamine.  When the level of dopamine drops below a certain amount, noticeable symptoms of PD begin to occur.

What are the symptoms of PD?

These symptoms include:

  • Tremor (shaking) of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • Slowness of movement
  • Rigidity (stiffness) of the arms, legs and trunk
  • Poor balance and coordination

What is the treatment for PD?

Currently,there is no cure for PD.

Treatment primarily consists of drugs that either replace or mimic dopamine, which can lessen symptoms.

Surgery may be used as a last resort in a selective group of patients.
For more information, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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