Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) revealed on Wednesday that he has Parkinson’s Disease. He has known about his diagnosis for about two and a half years, but he has only recently told his family and staff.
Isakson’s office released a statement from his neurologist, Dr. Thomas M. Holmes, who made the diagnosis in August of 2013.
“I have concluded that Senator Isakson is in Stage 1.5 of 5 accepted stages of Parkinson’s disease,” the doctor said, addressing Isakson’s future directly.
“I believe he is fully capable of running for re-election and serving for another term,” Holmes said.
Isakson has stated that he will continue in the Senate and continue to run for reelection next year.
“I’m looking forward to re-election,” Isakson told us.
“I’m tanned, rested and ready as Richard Nixon used to say.”
On his radio program Wednesday evening, Erick Erickson remarked that when he and Isakson last met about a month ago, the senator looked frail and unhealthy, and others have asked questions about the legislator’s health for several months.
Reporter Jamie Dupree weighed in on Isakson’s health as well:
Isakson’s health was on my radar screen before today; I asked one of his top aides in late 2012 about his health, but was told he was suffering from back problems.
While his mind has been sharp as a tack, physically, it was obvious during 2013 and 2014 that something was wrong, but his staff – and the Senator – blamed it on his back; he underwent back surgery in October of last year, and that was said to be the root of the problem.
But in recent months, I had noted to colleagues that the Senator’s gait had clearly slowed down, as he would walk very slowly through the halls of Congress, grabbing on to the railing with his hand to support him as he went up and down stairs.