Neil Diamond Reveals Parkinson’s Diagnosis

The Today Show reports:

Neil Diamond has announced he will stop touring due to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The legendary singer and songwriter announced on his website Monday that the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform. He cancelled upcoming dates in Australia and New Zealand from his 50th anniversary tour.

“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said in a statement. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.

The announcement came three days before Diamond’s 77th birthday on Thursday, and six days before he is set to receive a lifetime achievement award at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. He has sold more than 150 million albums in his career and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. And while the “Sweet Caroline” singer is no longer touring, he said he will continue making music.

  • Longpole

    The most promising treatment for Parkinson’s appears to be this….A recent study done at Harvard University found that patients with Parkinson’s improved after researchers transplanted tissue from fetal dopamine cells into their brains. Patients with severe symptoms experienced 50% fewer symptoms in the years after surgery.

    • JCF
      • MaryJOGrady

        Great minds think alike! Deep brain stimulation with implanted electronic devices which are tunable to modulate the effects is what I was referring to in my comment above. I just have not yet had the caffeine I need to explain it adequately. One of the best neurologists in the US has been researching it in Tyler, Texas, of all places, for over a decade. (The old money in Tyler threw money and a fine lab and residents to supervise at this neurologist to lure him down from the Harvard medical faculty.)

        • ETownCanuck

          My Aunt just had the implants done in Alberta. It was a 12 hour brain surgery that she had to be awake during. Even though they have not yet connected the electrodes, she has already had an improvement to the symptoms.

    • Mark Née Fuzz

      Great, if right wingers and religious nuts don’t stand in the way of anything that involves “fetal”.

      • Do Something Nice

        They don’t in California.

    • HandsomeMrToad

      I read that this experimental treatment was discontinued because fetal stem cells make tumors after transplantation.

  • JCF

    Just for you, Drumpf (i.e., fuck you!):

    Take care, Neil! We’re pulling for you…

  • BobVT

    I hosted karaoke for 13 years at a club and started every night with…

  • Boreal

    Nasty disease that my father had for 13 years until he died. It wasn’t the parkinsons that killed him in the end but the long term use of medicines to treat it it. They destroyed his kidneys.

    • netxtown

      Unfortunately – there’s no money in cures – and the kidneys usually take the brunt of testing and treatment. Any chemical ingested or injected – must be processed out.

      I’m just now heading down this road of ‘kidney’ damage – caused by an overload of contrast dyes for ‘testing’ purposes. And i’m madder than all hell about it. They say i have prostate cancer. i can live without a prostate – but not so well without kidneys.

      • Boreal

        I have the dye testing every 6 months now after a 2nd bout with cancer in 2016 and it worries me every time.

        • netxtown

          From what i have read – the dyes contain heavy metals (which create the contrast) – and of course are toxic as all hell to the kidneys. Drinking a boat load of clean/pure water does help to remove it – but it isn’t 100%.

          They need a better and less harmful way to get pics.

      • HandsomeMrToad

        There’s less money in cures, but that is not why we have no cure for Parkinson’s. Curing Parkinson’s is a very difficult proposition. Parkinson’s is not like a cancer which you can cure by cutting out the tumor, and not like syphilis which you can cure by using drugs to kill the pathogen. Parkinson’s is like having part of your body wither away or like losing a hand in a car accident. Parkinson’s patients have lost an essential part of the brain (substantia nigra, the dopaminergic neural sub-system).

        • MaryJOGrady

          From what I understand, for years there has been promise in devices which can be implanted in the brain to control Parkinson’s symptoms. It’s drastic– no one should have their skull cut open for anything trivial– but there has been progress in fighting this miserable disease. (My father had it.)

          • HandsomeMrToad

            That’s the problem–a cure like that is often worse than the disease. Parkinson’s is not generally life-threatening.

          • eddiebeskeddie

            MaryJOGrady – read my comment about the brain operation. (hopefully you’ll be able to find it)

        • netxtown

          If I have inadvertently conveyed that parkinson’s is ‘just another’ disease – please accept my apology. That said, when the “researchers” are looking for diamonds, they will pay little to no mind to the rubies.

          • HandsomeMrToad

            Oh, no need to apologize! Just trying to inform you. You were not born with this information, so there’s no reason for you to know about it before.

            We are still trying to understand WHY the substantia nigra dies. One theory is that dopamine itself may be toxic over time! Dopamine is a redox-center–the molecule has two forms: the oxidized quinone-form and the reduced catechol-form. This means that it can bind covalently to proteins and de-activate them, triggering death of the cell; also, redox-centers cycling between the oxidized and reduced forms throw off oxygen-containing radicals which damage nearby cell-components indiscriminately.

            The story of how we learned most of what we know about Parkinson’s is very interesting, and was even discussed in an episode of Law & Order! A designer-drug chemist made an error and created a bad batch of drug which included a molecule called MPTP, which kills the dopaminergic neuro-sub-system and causes Parkinson’s disease. A brilliant ER doc noticed that many young designer-drug users were showing up with Parkinson’s, guessed the cause, tracked down a sample of the bad batch, analyzed it, discovered the MPTP, and used it on animals, and thereby created the first animal models of Parkinson’s. For the first time we were able to create animals with Parkinson’s, then kill them and examine their brains at different stages of the disease, in a systematic way, rather than waiting for human patients to die and then examining their brains IF they had consented while alive.

            I used to study this stuff; now I have the disease myself. My research advisor was an attractive blonde who had a picture in her office of herself posing with Muhammad Ali. She and he had been at a fund-raiser for Parkinson’s research, he caught her eye from across the room, and slowly lifted his hand and crooked his finger in a “come here” gesture, and spent some time posing for the cameras with her.

      • prixator

        I think I know how you feel; last April I found out that I had very high blood pressure. At that point, I had been a very healthy (I felt) 58 year old – rarely ever sick, walked an hour a day, ate healthy, etc,

        Then, I went to the emergency room at a hospital where a doctor prescribed a drug that didn’t work well. I then went to a GP who added another drug that didn’t work well. He referred me to a cardiologist who added another drug.

        That drug – or the combination of the three – almost drove me to suicide. My mind went nuts, my balance went out of whack and my limbs became numb. I took those drugs for 4 weeks until, one day, I almost fell down the stairs of my house backwards.

        I went to the GP, who took me off the 3rd drug. At my next appt. with the cardiologist, he added another drug. The side effects were not as severe, but were still pretty bad. My mind wasn’t working properly and my balance and co-ordination were way off. And my blood pressure was still not good a lot of the time.

        At my last appt. with the cardiologist, I almost cried relating how awful I felt. He said he was baffled by the side effects I was experiencing and why the drugs weren’t working. He wanted to refer me to someone else and the only change he offered was to change the dosage of the 3 drugs from once a day to twice a day.

        I went back to the GP and said that I want to stop all the drugs because I could no longer live with the side effects (I also have depression and I was thinking a lot about suicide). He didn’t stop me and it has now been 2½ months off the drugs and the side effects have worn off somewhat, but far from totally.

        My life was much easier back when I had untreated hypertension than it is now – again with untreated hypertension but after being poisoned by the drugs.

        Sorry, for the long rant. Needed to get it off my chest. Thanks if you read this far!!

  • Garrett Sparks

    Saw him last year in concert for the first time. He put on a good show for sure. One of my bucket list concerts. Glad I got to see him. Sorry he is going through this.

  • HZ81

    Aw, I love Neil. Grammys going to be tearful.

  • HandsomeMrToad

    I have Parkinson’s too. It sucks.

    • Baltimatt

      Sorry to hear that. {{{Hugs}}}

      • HandsomeMrToad

        Everyone knows, and lots is written, about the tremor which often comes with Parkinson’s. But I have not seen anyone else mention that the tremor exhausts the muscles of the affected hand, and causes muscle-fatigue similar to “writer’s cramp” which people used to get from writing long-hand for a long time with pens and pencils, back in the day when people wrote long-hand rather than typing on computer keyboards. Except that when you got writer’s cramp, you could pause and rest your hand. The feeling of “writer’s cramp” from unceasing tremor is VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AND IRRITATING!!!!!

  • Baltimatt
  • Barry William Teske


    Neil Diamond was involved with the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

    Here are some quotes:

    Helped save my life at a young age.
    So did the Drag Queens and Street people.
    Otherwise I would have froze to death.

    • Bj Lincoln

      Read the book before the film was out. Changed me too.

  • Bj Lincoln

    I saw him in 1976. I can close my eyes and be there still. My mom is a huge fan and has everything he has ever recorded. I hope he doesn’t suffer much or long.
    ps I wonder how many Dreamers will make it as big as Neil Diamond in their chosen field? I hope we get to find out!

    • TuuxKabin

      Thousand up votes, Bj for the Dreamers comment!

  • TuuxKabin

    Continue making music. Good!!! Best wishes & thank you for the long haul.

  • chrisinphx

    Aww that sucks. Neil was the first concert I went to, I was 12 and he played In the Round at the Rosemont Horizon in IL.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    This is so unfortunate and sad. My dad died from complications to Parkinson’s after living with it for 12 years (April 4, 2017). It’s a nasty disease that slowly takes your body and then, near the end, your mind. Though too late for my father, there are newer treatments now that have shown great promise and I hope Mr. Diamond will take advantage of them (I hope he will). All the best and all my hopes.

  • anne marie in philly

    ah, back in the day…so fuckable…hairy bear too…(sigh)

  • eddiebeskeddie

    oh man ! that is one fucked up disease. At 31 I married my 40 year old husband. We knew each other only 2½ months when we tied the knot. 2½ years later he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. We didn’t have the full understanding of what all of that meant at that time. Life was fairly normal the first few years. Then came handfuls of pills every 3 hours. But we were still able to travel. We just had to go slower than we wanted. At 58, our wonderful Danish health care system gave my husband a brain operation for his 59th birthday. As mentioned here in the comments, 2 small holes are drilled into the patients skul while the patient is awake. Pins about the size of a knitting needle is stuck thru each hole and then into the brain – yes, while the patient is awake. And when the patients suddenly becomes calm, then the surgeons knows they hit the right spot in the brain. At that moment, they put the patient under and continue the rest of the operation which is a wire to each of the 2 pins in the brain. The wires follow down the side of the neck and into the chest where a battery pack is placed. The battery sends an electronic puls to the brain which in turn, mimics the dopamine that healthy people have. Without this operation, my husband would be bedridden. Now 68 years old with many more years ahead of him with Parkinson’s. It’s a progressive disease. That means as time goes on, it’s gonna get worse. It’s not fun at all. At the moment, he is able to walk (shuffle) from room to room. On a good day for a few moments, he may be able to walk about a quarter to a ½ a mile. He’s not able to shop and cook like normal people. We have to put up a railing on the side of the bed to keep him from falling out at night when he sleeps and that’s a big IF because sleeping is in short intervals; an hour here and hour there. Luckily Neil D has been able to work all the way until the rip old age of 77 – that’s amazing. My husband had to give up his policeman job in his mid 50’s. But I love that guy so I do – we do – what we can. it’s some really heavy shit this disease 🙁 My sympathy for those of you dealing with this.

    • JCF

      {{{eddie & husband}}}

      • eddiebeskeddie

        Thanks for the hug. Can never get too many.

  • Scott Millard

    I have seen him 48 times in concert, he is my favorite entertainer. In concert one of his encores is normally Brother Loves Travelling Salvation Show, during the song he does a sermon, “All itty bitty children, black and white, rich and poor, great and strong, God’s children all” Then one year he changed it and added “gay and straight”. For me, as a gay man who was not out, and coming to terms with being gay, that was life changing, hearing him recognize what I am. Thanks to him, I was able to come out, and live my life, and be the man who I am today.