People in the News

Published on June 10th, 2015 |


Sen. Johnny Isakson has Parkinson’s Disease, will stay on job

Georgia’s U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson revealed Wednesday that he is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, a debilitating neurological disorder, but said that the diagnosis would not keep him from fulfilling his duties or running for re-election in 2016.

Sen. Johnny Isakson

Sen. Johnny Isakson

Sen. Isakson announced that he has been battling Parkinson’s Disease since August of 2013, but only recently decided to disclose his condition to his family and staff.

In a statement, Isakson said that Wednesday’s public announcement was in keeping with “the same transparency that I have championed throughout my career.”

Isakson’s neurologist, Thomas M. Holmes, MD, said in his own statement that he had been seeing the senator since November of 2012. Following the Parkinson’s diagnosis, Holmes said Isakson has been performing daily workouts, attending physical therapy sessions, and taking two medications to slow the progression of the disease.

Holmes said that he most recently assessed Isakson on May 27 and judged him to have Stage 1.5 Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is generally graded on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being the least progressed stage of the disease with only mild inconvenience to the patient.

“I believe he is fully capable of continuing to perform his duties as a U.S. Senator, and I believe he is fully capable of running for re-election and serving for another term,” Holmes said.

In his statement, Isakson says that his busy schedule in Washington has not been affected by his diagnosis; Isakson serves on five senate committees and chairs two of them.

“I remain devoted to public service, to my state and to my constituents,” Isakson said. “I am eager to take my record of results to the voters of Georgia as I run for re-election in 2016.”

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