*Whoa! Talk about having a run of bad luck.

On the heels of being accused by Danielle Young, a journalist for The Root, of sexual harassment, just 11 days ago, the Reverend Jesse Jackson has learned and revealed that he has Parkinson’s disease.

The 76-year-old civil rights icon made the announcement in a statement on Friday.

“For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression,” Jackson wrote in a statement.

Jackson also noted that he was diagnosed “after a battery of tests.”


Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system that can slowly rob people of their mobility.

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of brain cells that contain dopamine, a neurotransmitter necessary for communication within the brain. Losing dopamine neurons is a normal part of aging, yet patients with Parkinson’s lose many more than usual, and the brain’s inability to compensate leads to symptoms.

Parkinson’s often starts with a small tremor in the hand or muscle stiffness and progresses over time. Usually, symptoms are worse on one side of the body. The obvious physical symptoms are the reason it is sometimes referred to as a “movement disorder

Nerve cell damage in the brain causes dopamine levels to drop, leading to Parkinson’s symptoms such as mild to severe tremors, muscle rigidity, shuffling gait, involuntary movements and loss of balance, and falling.

Other symptoms include daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, yawning, fatigue, restless sleep, early awakening and nightmares.

As the disease worsens, patients experience speech impediments, confusion, dementia, loss of bladder control, neck tightness, and weight loss.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s but symptoms can be relieved by medications.

Wow. We wish Reverend Jackson the best going forward.

“I am far from alone,” Jackson said in his statement.

“I want to thank my family and friends who continue to care for me and support me,” he concluded. “I will need your prayers and graceful understanding as I undertake this new challenge.”

Here’s some reaction from notables to Jackson’s Parkinson’s diagnosis/announcement: