5 Famous People With Brain Disorders

You are reading a blog post on five of the most famous people with brain disorders. The below list comprises actors, politicians, sportspeople, and scientists. Kindly note that some of the cases are not entirely diagnosed. 

I also share some of the resources that may be helpful for your research. You can go through them if you feel like digging deeper into this topic. 

Brain Disorder vs Mental Disorder

Note that a brain disorder (also known as a neurological disease) is not a mental illness. Diseases such as Dementia, Epilepsy, and Parkinson’s have nothing to do with psychiatry. 

A paper published in Psychiatric Times by Awais Aftab, MD concludes that mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) should not even be categorized as diseases. Needless to say, there’s a context for everything. Kindly read the paper for further elucidation. 

Here Are the 5 Famous People With Brain Disorders

1. Muhammad Ali- Parkinson’s Disease

Muhammad Ali

Researchers aren’t yet sure whether boxing-related head injuries led to the development of Parkinson’s disease in Muhammad Ali. Although Ali went on to live a decent life (died at age 74) despite exhibiting symptoms such as tremors, dizziness, memory loss, etc. 

According to a report by StatNews, people who had sustained head injuries in the past are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease in the near future. The same report also shares a bunch of research papers to solidify the claims. I suggest you go through each of them.

2. Ronald Reagan- Alzheimer’s Disease

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States. He was a highly charismatic political leader (also gave a shot at acting before that) serving for the Republican party. It is quite a well-known fact that ex-president Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia common in the elderly). 

After the diagnosis in 1994, he spent most of his time with his caregiver and family members. 

Before the diagnosis, he had planned to do a lot for the conservatives. Mr. Reagan went on to live 10 more years after the diagnosis. He took his last breath on June 5, 2004.  

3. Albert Einstein- Asperger Syndrome

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a world-renowned theoretical physicist. He won the Nobel prize in 1921 for his ground-breaking work and innovations in the world of quantum physics. 

Born in Germany, he went on to travel the world as he worked with the greatest minds to explore and dissect the mysteries of the universe. 

There is no sufficient proof or evidence but Albert Einstein could be one of the famous people with brain disorders. 

It has been speculated that Einstein suffered from Asperger syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that makes it difficult to communicate and converse normally. 

Einstein died way before the disease was first theorized. Hence, research had no way to perform the diagnosis. Many believe that he exhibited the exact symptoms of Asperger syndrome.

4. Lil Wayne- Epilepsy 

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne is one of the most hard-working rappers of modern times. He may be in his late thirties, but his work ethic remains unmatchable. 

Due to work-related stress and complications in his brain, Lil Wayne suffered three back-to-back seizures in Sep 2017. He spent a few days in the hospital and since has been doing well. 

According to a report by RollingStones magazine, Epilepsy was the primary cause behind the seizures. Lil Wayne himself stated that he is epileptic and may need medical care in the near future. He is one of the most famous people with brain disorders.

5. Brad Pitt- Prosopagnosia

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt is a two-time Golden Globe Award-winning American actor. He is also quite involved in producing movies under his company called Plan B. 

It is no secret that Brad Pitt suffers from Meningitis, a brain condition where the meninges are inflamed leading to migraines and headaches. 

Meningitis leads to multiple other ailments, and Prosopagnosia is one of the most common. Prosopagnosia is also known as Photo-phobia or Face blindness. 

It is a cognitive disorder that causes the sufferer to forget the faces of people in his/her life. At times, the patient can also find it hard to recall their own face.


These are the five of the most popular celebrities with a brain disorder. Fortunately, none of the people mentioned above lost their lives as a result of their condition (apart from President Reagan, who died at age 93). 

A brain disorder can develop irrespective of social status or the level of general health/well-being. Having said that, you must stay fit and eat clean at all times.

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