AD De Carolis diagnosed with Parkinson's

OREGON STATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR Bob De Carolis told members of the school's athletic department in June he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, according to a report in the Portland Tribune. De Carolis, who is in the early stages of the disease, recently signed an extension through 2016 and says he has every intention of staying on the job and fulfilling his contract.

De Carolis, 58, said he first noticed symptoms almost three years ago when he was conducting the men's basketball coaching search.

"I was getting a little bit of shake in my left hand," De Carolis told the Portland Tribune. "I was losing a little coordination. I figured it was a result of stress. From that, I started having neck pain going down to my shoulder and my hand."

He was diagnosed with cervical stenosis of the spine but three months after surgery, the pain in his neck hadn't gone away. Follow up care revealed the Parkinson's.

De Carolis has been at Oregon State since 1998 and became the school's athletic director in August of 2002.

De Carolis told the newspaper he is not yet "at the medication stage" and doesn't expect the disease to alter his work habits or responsibilities.

Parkinson's occurs when cells aren't able to produce enough dopamine. The nerve cells then can't send proper messages, leading to tremors, excessive muscle contraction and difficulty in walking, movement and coordination. As many as 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson's according to studies.

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