WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Democratic Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton announced on Twitter Tuesday that she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Wexton, who represents Virginia’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House, shared a video in which she talked about her diagnosis.
“If there’s one thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that Parkinson’s disease sucks. Today, on World Parkinson’s Day, I’m here to tell you that I have come to learn this firsthand. And that’s because I too, have Parkinson’s, or what some people call PD for short,” Wexton said.
Wexton went on to say that she is doing well, adding that she has a positive attitude and the support of family, friends and loved ones.
“I’m working with my doctor on a treatment plan that adresses my symptoms and I’ve been feeling good and staying strong,” said Wexton.
Wexton said she will not let Parkinson’s stop her from being her.
“I’m confident that as I work with my doctor to get the treatment I need, I can continue being a working mom, an active member of our community, doing what I love, and what I’ve spent more than two decades of my life doing, helping others through public service as a prosecutor, a judge, a state senator and now as a representative in Congress,” stated Wexton.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that predominantly affects the dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra. It’s a part of the brain that helps control movements.
Some of the most common symptoms of the disease are tremors, slowness and paucity of movement, limb stiffness and balance problems.
The cause of Parkinson’s still isn’t known; however, some scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors might be the source of the disease.
About one million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson’s disease and almost 90,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with PD each year.