The Reverend Jesse Jackson has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The 76-year-old civil rights icon made the announcement in a statement on Friday.

"For me, a Parkinson's diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease's progression," he wrote.

Jackson said he was diagnosed "after a battery of tests."

Parkinson's is a disorder of the central nervous system that can slowly rob people of their mobility.

Nerve cell damage in the brain causes dopamine levels to drop, leading to Parkinson's symptoms such as mild to severe tremors, muscle rigidity, shuffling gait, involuntary movements and loss of balance, and falling.

Other symptoms include daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, yawning, fatigue, restless sleep, early awakening and nightmares.

As the disease worsens, patients experience speech impediments, confusion, dementia, loss of bladder control, neck tightness, and weight loss.

There is no cure for Parkinson's but symptoms can be relieved by medications.

Jackson is a pioneering civil rights leader who worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s. Jackson was with King when he was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

  • Marlika

    Sorry to hear Messy Jesse.?????

  • Noirluv45

    I knew something was up with him, but didn't know what it was. I wish him well.

  • You Could Never

    God bless Rev. Jackson. He isnt perfect. but there are far worse.

  • hottlanta

    When I last saw him on talk to Roland Martin I knew something was wrong.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Get well ... Sending healing energies ...

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Come on truth ...???

  • Django the God

    Did he have a speech impediment?

  • hottlanta

    He was talking slow and his hands were shaking. Wow so sad.

  • hottlanta

    He wore the fro before Kapernick. I remember seeing him at Wattstax from back in the day. We packed the theater to see this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITKrBiEtDEE

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Oh so you throwing some Sandy style shade.

    Ha,ha,ha!!

  • Django the God

    Michelle put roots on him, after he said he was going to chop president Obama's nuts off.

  • MsPam

    Yeah he can now keep his hands off of women.

  • Branch Davidian

    Maybe he can do commercials for The Shake Shack now?

  • justlooking

    whispers many from era had Afros.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    Okay lol Both my parents were rocking afros in their wedding pics.

  • Karen Brady

    L. M. A. O. Say what now? He said what?!

  • Karen Brady

    :-). Perfect

  • hottlanta

    We had the best weddings. OMG. This weddings they have now is all about the theme. The weddings back the day was all about the party. Time they said I do, we did it. You gon make me go in the trunk and pull out pictures.

  • Django the God
  • XoXo

    Don't forget to mention the baby out of wedlock he sired under his list of accomplishments.

  • country57

    WOW!! Jesse got caught. "cut his nuts off" Damn, that was brutal.

  • Li

    There but for the grace of god go I.

  • Li

    He takes care of his teenage daughter and sees her often. She lives in LA. When he's in LA he spends time with her.

  • Li

    People here in Chicago have noticed something was wrong for a while.

  • Li

    There but for the grace of god go I. I say that every time I see a person in a wheel chair, shaking with parkinsons, with alzheimers.

  • XoXo

    I believe that, and I do appreciate his contributions to the civil rights movement. But he's a cheater

  • dontgetblocked

    I wish him the best...despite he's cheating and perverted ways.

  • takenaback

    I thought that was common knowledge he appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher he was slower that usual including his speech, and his hand was shaking. I assumed they had made it public because it was obvious. Hope he has good family support.

  • V Dubb

    Praying for ya old man!!

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    That ole Fish Eyed fool is paying the piper!

  • Keepin’IT100

    Never liked Jesse Jackson ole trifling azz

    Sorry he’s sick though. No bueno

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    I remember THAT!! JEALOUSY REARED ITS UGLY HEAD! Messy Jessie had a HOT MIC and his Lil whisper was heard all up and through!

  • Noirluv45

    Ditto. We are very blessed. I take nothing for granted.

  • cheechee1x1

    Serial Cheater!

  • Seek Truth Speak Truth

    He lived a long life of scheming black folks. Looks like it is catching up with him.

  • Fayce

    Good for him old sell out coon!