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Rep. Spratt says he has Parkinson's, will seek 15th term

Mar 30, 2010 5:20:00 PM - thestate.com
U.S. Rep. John Spratt said today he is suffering from Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.

Spratt, a Democrat from York, disclosed his condition in announcing that he will seek a 15th term representing the 5th Congressional District.

"My doctor tells me that I am in the early stages of Parkinson?s disease, but the symptoms are mild and the progression is slow," Spratt, 67, said in a statement. "The chief symptom is an occasional tremor in my right hand, which responds to medication and is mostly a nuisance. The other symptom is in my posture, which is bent a bit, but I hope to correct it with exercise."

Parkinson's develops gradually, often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand, according to mayoclinic.com. But while tremors may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson's disease, the disorder also commonly causes a slowing or freezing of movement.

?None of these symptoms affects me mentally or physically," Spratt said. "In January, for example, I made a long trek across the world to Afghanistan, with no limits on our itinerary.

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