Jesse Jackson Reveals Parkinson’s Diagnosis

NPR reports:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has announced that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, saying that he first noticed symptoms “about three years ago.” Jackson, 76, released the news in what he called an update “on my health and the future.”

The longtime political and social activist, who was part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle in the 1960s and who later founded the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said that after noticing signs of the motor system disorder, he attempted to work through it.

Jackson added, “For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign,” saying that he will do what he can to slow the disease, through physical therapy and changes to his lifestyle.

  • joe ho

    The far side of 75 isn’t kind to most people. If it isn’t cancer, it’s Parkinsons, or some kind of dementia.

    Why it’s good to support the physician assisted suicide movement.

    • AlternativeQuacks

      Quite a lot of the Senate is past 75. Plus certain names that are being thrown around as potential 2020 candidates.

      Not disagreeing with your comment. Just observing that.

      • Rebecca Gardner

        That explains their behavior. They’re all senile.

      • joe ho

        Of course there are lots of people functional well into their 90s even, but they’re not the rule. We’re talking averages. And aggressive medical interventions after 75 have been shown to be relatively ineffective (on average) at improving life. That’s an important discussion as a huge percentage of health expenditures are on major late-life interventions which are very expensive, but mostly ineffective long-term.

    • Jeffg166

      My husband and I managed to dodge HIV but at nearly 70 old age has caught up with us. He has a degenerative neurological disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy or PSP. Use to be thought to be Parkinson’s but was discovered not to be. He’s slowly sliding into incapacitation like Parkinson’s.

    • acde

      I agree with supporting the assisted suicide movement. This will become an legal option for us before too long. The Boomers are too many and too powerful not to get the options they want, especially a sane and humane one. I for one, hope that my sanity does not desert me when I intend to take my stash of departure dolls [age reference to “Valley of the Dolls”].
      Old age is not for the faint of heart. At 71, I think that lifestyle choices that we are too stubborn/ignorant/immortal to make as youth have a great deal of impact on the quality of our years. I consider my self very lucky to have only a few more minor conditions.

      On the more positive side, as recently as 75 years ago the average person was considered hale and hearty if they made it to 45 -55.

      •Edit•Reply•Share ›

      Gustav2 Jeffg166 • an hour ago

      • joe ho

        You’re lucky if you have a doctor who prescribes fast-acting barbiturates (i.e., seconal) for you. Most doctors won’t anymore.

  • Boreal

    Nasty disease that several family members have had.

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      My dad died of parkinsons.

      • Boreal

        Mine too. Although the science doesn’t prove it yet, I believe it to be hereditary.

        • ben-andy

          Or at least the genetic disposition to develop it, based on lifestyle.

        • HandsomeMrToad

          Very few people actually die of it. You usually die of something it causes–indirectly. Like, you fall because of it and suffer a deadly injury.

          (I used to study it, and now I have it myself.)

    • netman extraordinaire

      My mom is 86 and has lived with it for about 8 years. It’s amazing what an extensive prescription regime she must follow just to remain somewhat stable. It is indeed a devastating disease though. I’ve heard it’s even more so for men than women. Not sure if that’s true though.

      • Boreal

        The meds over time cause kidney failure if you are on them long enough

        • HandsomeMrToad

          Which meds?

  • jerry

    One of his best speeches was at DNC in LA, 2000:

  • Puck

    I am sorry to hear this. I would not wish this on any of my enemies as their families have a harder time, plus I want them to remember me!

  • another_steve

    Parkinson’s is a bad thing to have. My mother lived with it for many years. There are varying intensities of it but in its most severe form it can be debilitating.

    I wish for Jesse a peaceful journey.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    OT, but OMG! Who on earth could have ever predicted this?
    Fuck the world!

    The Keystone Pipeline Has Leaked 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota

    • Todd20036

      Yup. But both parties are the same.

      • Rebecca Gardner

        Have No Fear! Pruitt will assure all of us that the current state of the soil and possibly the water is too clean to be healthy and this spill will be beneficial to everyone because Jebus or something.

        • Gustav2

          He will ship the water to Flint to help them out!

          • Rebecca Gardner

            Everyone knows the kerogen in oil shale neutralizes lead. The “scientists” at Exxon/Mobile told us so in their Climate Change is totally fucking false report.

        • Jon Doh

          It’ll keep the dust down.

          • William

            When I was a kid, all the neighbors gave their used motor oil to a man who sprayed the oil on our dirt road.

        • William

          It’s all part of God’s plan… or something.

    • Harveyrabbit

      They’re just giving some oil back to the earth.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      A year ago, people were freezing, beaten and arrested trying to warn us.

      • Shirley

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  • Todd20036

    The worst part of Parkinsons, IMHO, is the idea of having to be a burden onto others. I’d hate that above all else.

    • another_steve

      Similar in that regard to Alzheimer’s, which runs in my genetic line.

      I don’t fear the disease but I fear the thought of someday being a burden to my husband.

      • William

        I told my partner he’s going to a home.

        • another_steve

          Well… succinct.

          If nothing else.

        • Steve Teeter

          I told my partner he never would. And he never did.

      • Opinion Sousaphones

        Yes. When Robin Williams killed himself, he did so after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Many might have thought he killed himself because of depression, but I have wondered whether he did it to spare his family dealing with his illness. That said, I do not recommend suicide as a mercy for one’s loved ones. I have some experience… people do not get over it. It hurts them so terribly… probably more than putting up with you. At least, when one finally dies from the complications, they feel relieved that you have passed. They feel quite different in the other scenario.

        • William

          I thought Williams had some much worse condition than Parkinson’s.

          —From Wikipedia-An examination of his brain tissue revealed the presence of “diffuse Lewy body dementia”, which had been misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease.

          • Opinion Sousaphones

            Ah, I forget now exactly everything that was going on with him… more than one thing, I thought. However, looking just now, I see references to “Parkinson’s with Lewy body dementia.” My father had the dementia. To confirm Lewy bodies, I think one must do an autopsy, and we did not do that. I do not know whether I will go the same way. If so, I hope my husband puts me in a home, but I don’t think he will. I am the “hard ass” in the marriage, and I can deal with care taking and incontinence… done it before. I would keep him, if something like that happens and if I have the strength to actually help him and not kill him out of physical incompetence… weird the choices one faces as one ages… no pat answers will do.

          • MaryJOGrady

            He did. Lewy body dementia comes with horrifying hallucinations.

        • another_steve

          OS, that’s a wonderful, heartfelt comment. Thank you.

          Love to you.

  • bkmn

    It is a difficult disease to have your body betray you while your mind is still sharp. I hope he gets good, effective treatment.

    • Opinion Sousaphones

      … sometimes the mind goes too. It comes sometimes with dementia.

    • Archipelagos

      Parkinson’s affects the mind, regardless of dementia. Not to mention the cocktail of drugs needed to keep someone going, all of it takes a serious toll on a person’s mental capacity.

  • Jon Doh

    You can’t pray that shit away.

  • Ninja0980

    Wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Not even Drumpf? I would make that one exception.

      • Opinion Sousaphones

        Sigh… maybe, and I AM white-hot angry with that traitor, rapist, liar, and all-around nihilist. However, him suffering does nothing good for anybody. Deep down, I am mortally tired of the torment we all must endure. I want it to stop. I know it won’t. Even so, I won’t wish it even on our cheap little Mussolini wannabe. Besides, it is his family that will suffer the most… and, yes, they all seem to be turd on a stick, but not even them.

  • AlternativeQuacks

    Another changing of the guard, though not due to any illness I don’t think: Gerry Adams just announced he’s retiring as president of Sinn Fein. I’m in my 50s and I can’t remember a time when Gerry Adams wasn’t the head of Sinn Fein.

  • The first year I was old enough to vote for president, I voted for Jesse Jackson in the California primaries. Wishing him the best as he fights this terrible condition.

  • Statistics Palin

    I hope a cure is found in Jesse Jackson’s lifetime, and I hope he is cured.

    • HandsomeMrToad

      Not a chance.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Mu neighbor had Parkinsons, and his kindly bitch of a wife once asked a visitor if she should ” just let him go”. The neighbor was horrified and called 911, he lived 3 years after that episode.

  • Opinion Sousaphones

    My dad was taken by complications arising from Parkinson’s. It was not pretty… not at all. The only mercy was that the death (due to a particular confluence of complications) was peaceful. It will be hardest on the family, especially if he develops a dementia.

  • Guess

    I wish Rev. Jackson well.

  • fuzzybits

    Be well Mr. Jackson.

  • HandsomeMrToad

    Most of what we know about Parkinson’s (how it works) we know because of an illegal drug maker! He accidentally created a compound called MPTP, which causes Parkinson’s disease in animals, while he was trying to make a batch of crystal meth (or maybe it was a designer drug). Addicts started showing up in ERs with Parkinson’s, and a genius ER doc tracked down the bad batch and analyzed it. Now we can create animal-models of Parkinson’s by giving them MPTP, and then examine their brains (and do experiments and chemical analysis on them).

    • Ann Morgan

      Toad… birds, unlike mammals, can regenerate brain cells. Has anyone ever tried the experiment of inducing Parkinson’s in birds by injecting them with MPTP, and seeing if it eventually went away?

      • HandsomeMrToad

        Interesting! I have no idea.

  • SDG

    I wonder if he is going to “Hymietown” for treatment?

  • Ore Carmi

    Poor guy! I wish him all the best.