Ugh, very sad/bad news from Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10):
Wexton Shares Health Update and Announces Retirement Plans
Leesburg, VA – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10) released the following statement announcing that, amid receiving treatment and regular medical evaluations for Parkinson’s Disease over the course of the past several months, she has received a modified diagnosis of Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy, type-p (PSP-P), a form of Atypical Parkinsonism. As a result, she will serve the remainder of her term in the 118th Congress and not seek reelection.
“When I shared with the world my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease a few months ago, I knew that the road ahead would have its challenges, and I’ve worked hard to navigate those challenges through consistent treatments and therapies. But I wasn’t making the progress to manage my symptoms that I had hoped, and I noticed the women in my Parkinson’s support group weren’t having the same experience that I was. I sought out additional medical opinions and testing, and my doctors modified my diagnosis to Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy – a kind of ‘Parkinson’s on steroids.’
“I’ve always believed that honesty is the most important value in public service, so I want to be honest with you now – this new diagnosis is a tough one. There is no ‘getting better’ with PSP. I’ll continue treatment options to manage my symptoms, but they don’t work as well with my condition as they do for Parkinson’s.
“I’m heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community. But taking into consideration the prognosis for my health over the coming years, I have made the decision not to seek reelection once my term is complete and instead spend my valued time with Andrew, our boys, and my friends and loved ones.
“When I made the decision to run for Congress, this was clearly not the way I anticipated it coming to a close — but then again, pretty much nothing about my time serving here has quite been typical or as expected. I will forever cherish the people from our communities and all around the country I’ve come to know, the challenges we’ve faced together, and the ways both big and small that my team and I have made a difference in the lives of our neighbors. While my time in Congress will soon come to a close, I’m just as confident and committed as ever to keep up the work that got me into this fight in the first place for my remaining time in office – to help build the future we want for our children. I am truly humbled by the trust Virginians have placed in me, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of our district.”
Background on Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy (PSP):
According to the National Institutes of Health, Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare neurological disorder that affects body movements, walking and balance, and eye movements. It is one of a family of neurological conditions called atypical parkinsonism and belongs to the category of frontotemporal disorders.
PSP is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s Disease, especially early in the disorder. Symptoms are often similar, however PSP usually progresses more rapidly than Parkinson’s. There is currently no treatment that effectively stops or slows the progression of PSP, and symptoms usually do not respond well to medications. The PSP-P variant in particular, however, may respond better to antiparkinsonian medications than other types of PSP, at least for some time.
More information about PSP and FAQs can be found here.
Rep. Wexton’s official biography can be found here.