MIAMI – Janet Reno's doctors say her mild form of Parkinson's disease should not prevent the former U.S. attorney general from running for the Florida governor's office.
Reno, who was diagnosed with the disease in November 1995, says she plans to decide by mid-September whether to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Reno, 63, told the St. Petersburg Times she would release her medical records if she enters the race to take on Gov. Jeb Bush, President Bush's brother.
"I don't feel any adverse effect," Reno said. "I didn't feel it on my abilities as attorney general or what I'm doing now."
Parkinson's disease causes progressive degeneration of brain neurons that control muscle movements. It makes Reno's hands and arms tremble.
Her doctors said she takes two medications daily and has not shown any side effects. One of her neurologists, Dr. William Koller of the University of Miami, said she responds well to medication and is healthy.
"We always tell the patient, one, they need to stay active, and minimize the effect of the disease. When they're engaged and have goals, they just do better in general," Koller told the newspaper.
People with Parkinson's also need to avoid pushing themselves too far, Koller said.
"She has a lot of energy and a lot of common sense," he said. "I think she knows when it's time to rest."
The doctors caution that the disease is unpredictable, the newspaper reported Sunday.
"There's a tremendous variation in what happens to people, and currently there's no test that can predict what's going to happen to anybody," Reno's lead physician, Dr. William Weiner of the University of Maryland, told the newspaper. "Someone like her comes to me six years into the disease and I say, 'This is good. You're going to have progression, but it's probably going to be slow like in the past.'"
Former Ambassador to Vietnam Douglas "Pete" Peterson also is considering a run for the Democratic nomination. Reno and Peterson would join a Democratic field that already includes state House Minority Leader Lois Frankel, state Sen. Daryl Jones and Tampa attorney Bill McBride.