After receiving a new medical diagnosis, Wexton has decided not to run for reelection in Congress.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat, announced Monday she won’t seek reelection in her district in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington after learning she has a severe form of Parkinson’s disease.

In April, Wexton made an announcement about her Parkinson’s diagnosis and her intention to carry on with her congressional duties. However, on Monday, she revealed that her diagnosis had been modified to progressive supra-nuclear palsy, which she likened to a more severe form of Parkinson’s.

“I need to be frank with you at this moment – this recent diagnosis is challenging,” Wexton expressed in her statement. “There is no possibility of improvement with PSP. Although I will pursue treatment options to handle my symptoms, their effectiveness is limited.”

Wexton mentioned that she obtained the recent diagnosis due to her dissatisfaction with the treatment’s effectiveness and observing contrasting experiences among the women in her Parkinson’s support group.

She intends to fulfill the remainder of her term, which extends until 2024.

She expressed her sadness at having to let go of something she cherished, having dedicated many years to serving her community.

Wexton was a prosecutor and state legislator before she was elected to Congress in 2018. She defeated Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock with 56% of the vote in a year when the GOP faced a backlash from suburban voters disappointed with then-President Donald Trump.

In 2022, she emerged as the winner with a majority of 53% of the votes.

Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, where Wexton serves, is centered in Loudoun County, an outer suburb of the nation’s capital. Loudoun tilts slightly Democratic but has a long history of switching support between political parties. In recent years, the county has been a flashpoint in confrontations over education issues, from school closures and in-person learning during the pandemic to questions over the treatment of transgender students and library books.

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness and difficulty with balance and coordination. The symptoms and rate of progression differ among individuals. Early symptoms of this disease are subtle and occur gradually, according to the National Institute on Aging.

According to the National Institutes of Health, progressive supranuclear palsy is a type of atypical parkinsonian syndrome, also referred to as a Parkinson-plus disorder.

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