Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson says he is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Isakson made the announcement at his Capitol Hill office this morning. Despite the debilitating nature of the illness, he says his prognosis is good and he still plans to run for re-election in 2016.
The Senator apparently knew about the illness for some time, “Two and a half years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s,” Isakson says. “I told my kids a month ago. I told senior staff about a month ago.”
Isakson’s office offered up a statement from his neurologist, Dr. Thomas M. Holmes, “I have concluded that Senator Isakson is in Stage 1.5 of 5 accepted stages of Parkinson’s disease. I believe he is fully capable of running for re-election and serving for another term.”
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal also released a statement, “In the 35 years that I’ve known Johnny Isakson, he has risen to meet, and overcome, every obstacle he’s encountered with determination and a smile on his face,” Deal said. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that he and Diane will rise to meet this challenge.”
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system mainly affecting the motor system. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease.