Ronald Reagan & Alzheimer's Disease
"The questions, then, of whether my father suffered from the beginning stages of Alzheimer's while in office more or less answers itself," he admits.
In a review of the younger Reagan's book, Dr. Lawrence K. Altman observes the following mileposts in the president's life:
* His mother, Nelle, had died of "senility."
* At age 69 in 1980, he became the oldest man elected to the presidency of the US, serving eight years.
* In 1989 at age 78 he fell from a horse in Mexico and "his doctors detected probable signs of Alzheimer's in removing a blood clot that formed between his skill and brain."
* In 1990 he began taking annual mental-status tests, which at first showed no signs of memory loss.
* These tests first showed evidence of AD in the summer of 1993, when he was 82 years old.
* In 1994, the former president wrote his open letter to the American public disclosing his illness.
* He died at age 93 on June 5, 2004. As is typical of the disease, he had been unable to eat or drink, and his kidneys failed.