Congresswoman Opens Up On 'Incurable' Brain Disease Diagnosis: 'Too Young For This' – EVOL

Back in April of 2023, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) shared news revealing her diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Just months later, her condition worsened with doctors upgrading her diagnosis to progressive supra-nuclear palsy. Wexton, who had been gearing up for her third congressional term, is now sharing her health journey as she prepares to step away from politics at the end of the year.

Though she was determined to keep serving Virginia, her body couldn’t keep up with her. “Cognitively, I’m the person I’ve always been,” Wexton, 55, told PEOPLE. “But there are things that it takes me a lot longer to do.”

Initially, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but subsequent evaluations determined it was PSP, which can cause difficulties with movement, balance, speech, and other symptoms. PSP is sometimes mistaken for Parkinson’s because of similar symptoms like stiffness and difficulty with balance and movement. PSP, however, progresses more rapidly and can also lead to other issues like difficulty with swallowing, vision problems due to impaired eye movement, and cognitive impairment.

Shortly after the 2022 election, Wexton’s political plans took a hit when she noticed her fingers and toes involuntarily clenching and curling. A medical examination brought the unexpected news: she



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