MP’s Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis is confirmed

Liberal Democrat MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Sir Robert Smith, has been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

Despite the illness, he intends to keep working and to stand for re-election to Westminster in 2015.

Sir Robert, who is receiving treatment for the disease, said this week: “I would like to thank the medical staff at ARI for the help I am receiving.

‘‘My colleagues at Westminster and locally are being very supportive, as is my family.

‘‘This was not easy news to receive, but it is a condition that can be managed and I plan to make the best I can of it.”

Parkinson’s Disease, also known as idiopathic or primary parkinsonism, hypokinetic rigid syndrome is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.

The constituency 2015 campaign committee chairman, Mike Rumbles, said: “I am saddened to hear that Sir Robert has this progressive illness but am delighted that he intends to keep working as our local MP and is committed to re-standing in 2015.”

Parkinson’s disease affects around one in 500 people in the UK.

It can cause a tremor, muscle rigidity and slowness of movement.

The disease is ultimately incurable but treatable with a number of drugs.

Sir Robert (55) has represented the constituency since its creation in 1997, and has been re-selected to contest the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine seat for the Liberal Democrats at the next election.