Jesse Jackson says he has Parkinson's disease

Jesse Jackson Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he's been seeking outpatient care for two years for Parkinson's disease and plans to "dedicate" himself to physical therapy.

In a Friday letter to supporters, the 76-year-old civil rights leader said family and friends noticed a change in him about three years ago.

"Fora while, I resisted interrupting my work to visit a doctor", Jackson writes in a statement to the press.

Rev. Jesse Jackson has announced he has Parkinson's Disease.

"Now in the latter years of my life, at 76 years old, I find it increasingly hard to perform routine tasks, and getting around is more of a challenge", Jackson writes. "I'm also spending some time working on my memoir so I can share with others the lessons I have learned in my life of public service". He said he could no longer ignore symptoms of the chronic neurological disorder that causes movement difficulties.

Parkinson's disease kills vital nerve cells in the brain that create dopamine. But the disease progresses slowly, and treatments can slow it down even more, it said.

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Jackson, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is the founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a social justice organization headquartered on Chicago's South Side.

Parkinson's runs in Jackson's family.

"It's a sad day in my life to know that my friend of all these years has reached that stage", Davis said Friday after a groundbreaking ceremony at the University of IL at Chicago campus.

He twice sought the Democratic presidential nomination and has acted as an emissary to secure the release of Americans held overseas.

"I will continue to try to instill hope in the hopeless, expand our democracy to the disenfranchised and free innocent prisoners around the world", he continues.

Jackson declined further comment Friday.

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