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When Was Reagan Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s

Research Advancements Are Vital To Help Prevent Slow And End Progressive Cognitive Disorders

Reagan reveals Alzheimer’s diagnosis 19 years ago today

The Reagan Institute is credited with an expansion in the biological portion of Alzheimers research and has raised millions of dollars to back biomedical scientists in developing and testing treatments. Thatchers backing continues the Alzheimers Research UKs pursuit of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical therapies and a vision for a world where people are free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia a world in which those affected by dementia and Alzheimers reflect the inscription on Reagans headstone, there is purpose and worth to each and every life.

How does Reagans and Thatchers personal stories inspire you to help fight dementia?

An award-winning journalist who has documented stories in nearly 20 countries, Beth Lueders is an author, writer and speaker who frequently reports on diverse topics, including aging and health issues for both U.S. and international corporations.

Ronald Reagan: His Letter About Alzheimer Disease

  • Cannon, Lou. Actor, Governor, President, Icon. Washington Post. 6 June 2004, page A1. Available on the web at:
  • DeFrank, Thomas M. Write It When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007.
    a p.118 b p.119 c p.108
  • Alvarez, Walter C. Nervousness Indigestion and Pain. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, 1943.
    a pp.100-101
  • MacMahon, Edward B. and Curry, Leonard. Medical Cover-Ups in the White House. Washington, DC: Farragut, 1987.
  • Pathology Of Alzheimers Disease

    Macroscopic features

    Fig. 1

    Gross Anatomy of Alzheimers Brain. Lateral view of an Alzheimers brain can show widening of sulcal spaces and narrowing of gyri compared to a normal brain. This may be more readily observed in coronal sections as indicated by the arrowheads, and this atrophy is often accompanied by enlargement of the frontal and temporal horns of the lateral ventricles as highlighted by the arrows. Additionally, loss of pigmented neurons in the locus coeruleus is commonly observed in the pontine tegmentum as shown with the open circle. None of these features is exclusive to Alzheimers disease

    Microscopic features

    The definitive diagnosis of AD requires microscopic examination of multiple brain regions employing staining methods that can detect Alzheimer type neuropathologic change , with diagnosis based upon the morphology and density of lesions and their topographic distribution. Several of the brain regions that are vulnerable to Alzheimer type pathologic change are also vulnerable to other disease processes, such as -synucleinopathy and TDP-43 proteinopathy. Mixed pathology is common. Indeed in the Mayo Clinic Brain Bank from 2007 to 2016 , the majority of AD cases had coexisting non-Alzheimer pathologies, and comorbidities increased in frequency with age. Furthermore, when the original clinical diagnoses were examined for cases with pure AD pathology, it is clear that a number of clinical syndromes can masquerade as Alzheimers disease.

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    Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan: A Champion In The Fight Against Alzheimers Disease

    Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Illinois. He served as The United States 40th President from 1981-1989. There are many historical and personal events and accomplishments that we remember about President Reagan such as:

    • An accomplished actor appearing in more than 50 films.
    • The Governor of California.
    • The 1981 assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr.
    • The 1987 speech at the Berlin wall delivering the famous line Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.
    • His key involvement in helping end the cold war.

    But perhaps what people around the world remember most about President Reagan is his 1994 diagnosis with Alzheimers disease and his death from the disease on June 5, 2004.

    Sure Signs You Have Dementia Like Ronald Reagan

    Son: Reagan suffered Alzheimer

    President Ronald Reagan is one of many high-profile people to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In a letter written to the American people in 1994, President Reagan said that he and wife Nancy Reagan wanted to be open about his condition in order to shine more light on the disease. “In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition,”he wrote. “Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.” Here are five signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

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    The Most Powerful Leader Of The Free World Has Alzheimers Disease

    It was Oct. 1, 1988. As I sat on the Healy Lawn at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., I wrestled with complex emotions. I felt honored to be attending graduate school at Georgetown, deeply grateful to have access to the many resources our nations capital affords its residents, students and visitors.

    President Ronald Reagans remarks at the universitys bicentennial convocation were filled with national pride, and so was I. But I felt an underlying ambivalence. Why? I was aware that the world leader speaking before me might have Alzheimers disease.

    Rumors had been circulating about President Reagans mentation. The media reported instances of him being dazed and otherwise not with it. Words like confusion and dementia were used to describe our 40th president throughout both his terms of office.

    As a fledgling gerontologist, I identified the subtle yet toxic ageism in these comments. Fueled by our societys disdain of getting old and perhaps our individual fear of losing our minds, public figures are cautiously viewed once they reach a certain age.

    We now know that Ronald Reagan did, in fact, have Alzheimers disease. The speculation was put to rest in 1994, long after his presidency, when Reagan himself wrote a poignant letter to the American people disclosing his diagnosis earlier that year. The debate then shifted to whether he had actually been exhibiting symptoms of dementia while occupying the White House.

    Son: Reagan Suffered Alzheimer’s While In Office

    Ronald Reagan’s son said that had his father known he was ill, he would have resigned.

    01/15/2011 05:58 PM EST

    • Link Copied

    President Ronald Reagans son says in a new book that he believes his father suffered from Alzheimers disease while serving in the White House years before the diagnosis was made.

    In My Father at 100, a memoir being released Tuesday, the late presidents youngest son, Ron, said he saw evidence that his father was losing his mental faculties during his first term, which began in 1981.

    Today, we are aware that the physiological and neurological changes associated with Alzheimers can be in evidence years, even decades, before identifiable symptoms arise, the younger Reagan wrote. The question of whether my father suffered from the beginning stages of Alzheimers while in office more or less answers itself.

    The 100th anniversary of Reagans birth is on Feb. 6th. He died in 2004 at the age of 93.

    Reagan said that had his father known he was ill, he would have resigned.

    Ive seen no evidence that my father was aware of his medical condition while he was in office, he wrote. Had the diagnosis been made in, say 1987, would he have stepped down? I believe he would have.

    The former president wasnt formally diagnosed with Alzheimers until 1994, but Ron Reagan said there was clear evidence that his father was ailing well before then.

    Reagan added that his father might himself have suspected that all was not as it should be.

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    Neurofibrillary Tangles And Neuropil Threads

    Fig. 4

    Neurofibrillary Tangles. Neurofibrillary tangles develop from intracellular pre-tangles containing misfolded tau and small tau aggregates to mature NFTs containing bundles of cross-linked tau filaments before the neuron dies and an extracellular ghost tangle remains. Silver staining and Thioflavin S capture many mature tangles and some pre-tangles along with amyloid plaques and tau neuropil threads. Development of NFTS from the pre-tangles is more easily visualized using tau immunohistochemistry . This allows the mis-localized somal tau to be distinguished readily from the bundles of PHFs in NFTS in addition to the neuropil threads that can also be pronounced . The scale bars are 40m

    Families Of People With Progressive Cognitive Disease Need Care Support Too

    Inside Ronald Reagans Last Days: His Daughter On The Alzheimers Struggle You Didnt See

    Those living with dementia and their families are often regulated to the shadows and left alone to manage outside of normal society. But staying connected with a circle of family and friends is beneficial and supportive for both patients and their caring loved ones. The challenges of specialized dementia care can press families into their own sadness, anxiety and anger. Regular respite care for at-home caregivers is essential, as dementia typically advances slowly over the years.

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    Parsing Ronald Reagans Words For Early Signs Of Alzheimers

    • Read in app

    WASHINGTON Even before Ronald Reagan became the oldest elected president, his mental state was a political issue. His adversaries often suggested his penchant for contradictory statements, forgetting names and seeming absent-mindedness could be linked to dementia.

    In 1980, Mr. Reagan told me that he would resign the presidency if White House doctors found him mentally unfit. Years later, those doctors and key aides told me they had not detected any changes in his mental abilities while in office.

    Now a clever new analysis has found that during his two terms in office, subtle changes in Mr. Reagans speaking patterns linked to the onset of dementia were apparent years before doctors diagnosed his Alzheimers disease in 1994.

    The findings, published in The Journal of Alzheimers Disease by researchers at Arizona State University, do not prove that Mr. Reagan exhibited signs of dementia that would have adversely affected his judgment and ability to make decisions in office.

    But the research does suggest that alterations in speech one day might be used to predict development of Alzheimers and other neurological conditions years before symptoms are clinically perceptible.

    Detection of dementia at the earliest stages has become a high priority. Many experts now believe that yet-to-be-developed treatments are likely to be effective at preventing or slowing progression of dementia only if it is found before it significantly damages the brain.

    Losing Sense Of Humor

    If you find yourself being confused by humor that was always funny to you, it could be a sign of dementia. “Early signs of dementia include changes to language, behaviors and responses to social cues,”says Hannah Churchill, research communications manager at Alzheimer’s Society. “If you find your sense of humor has changed significantly, it might be worth getting some medical advice,” says Katie Puckering, information services manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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    How Nancy Reagan Coped With Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s Disease

    Eleanor Clift Evan Thomas U.S.Nancy ReaganRonald ReaganAlzheimer’s diseaseArchives

    Nancy Reagan died on March 6, 2016 at the age of 94. A previous issue of Newsweek portrayed how the former First Lady feature coped with President Ronald Reagan’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease and eventual death. This story originally appeared in the June 21, 2004 issue of Newsweektwo weeks after the 40th president’s death.

    The news did not surprise her. A decade ago, Nancy Reagan took her beloved Ronnie to the Mayo Clinic. The former president, her soulmate of more than 40 years, had been forgetting things, repeating himself, trying but failing to do the simplest things. When the doctors returned with their devastating verdictAlzheimer’s, then a relatively new termNancy was already braced for the worst. “By the time you go in to get checked out,” a source close to the Reagan family told Newsweek, “something has given you the idea that there is something very wrong.” Discovering what the enemy was, though, did not make the toll the disease would take any easier to bear. In 1994, “nobody knew what to expect,” the family insider recalled. “We didn’t know what questions to ask, what to talk about, what the future would be like.” Mrs. Reagan did know one thing: The man who called her his “roommate” and wrote her softly sentimental love letters in their fifth decade of marriage was going to leave herslowly, painfully, bit by bit.

    Things We Learned From Reagans Alzheimers And Thatchers Dementia


    In what is considered his farewell address to the American people, former President Ronald Reagan penned a November 5, 1994, letter announcing his recently diagnosed Alzheimers disease, the irreversible neurological condition that is the most frequent form of dementia. With brave honesty, the 40th President of the United States explained how he and former first lady Nancy Reagan decided to make this news known in a public way In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.

    During the athletic, upbeat Gippers sunset journey, his cognitive and physical health slowly faded. Well-known on the world stage negotiating with political powers, the Great Communicator would now face the walled-in world that Alzheimers demanded of his aging body. Reagan died of Alzheimers-related pneumonia at age 93. Few of those attending or watching his graveside service via television will forget the first ladys sobbing, her exhausted, frail body clinging to her beloved Ronnies casket. As devoted spouse and dedicated caregiver, Nancy rarely left Ronalds side during his 10-year battle with the irreparable brain disorder.

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    Proclamation 5405 National Alzheimers Disease Month

    On November 8, 1985 he proclaimed November as National Alzheimers Disease Month stating:

    Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of November 1985 as National Alzheimers Disease Month, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe that month with appropriate observances and activities.

    Read the full proclamation at:

    His Advocacy Before His Diagnosis

    It is important that we remember what President Reagan did for Alzheimers awareness many years before his diagnosis. He was an early advocate of Alzheimers research and family caregiver support, spoke often about the importance of research, fundraising, support programs and issued 2 important proclamations addressing Alzheimers:

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    Ongoing Support And Improved Dementia

    The Reagans open disclosure of the former presidents anticipated mental decline brought relief to Alzheimers families across the world. Today, organizations like the Alzheimers Association offer a caregiver center stocked with reliable information, programs and resources and a 24-hour hotline, 1-800-272-3900, to help with support at any stage of dementia. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at 800-352-9424 also lists an online resource page of dementia organizations .

    When Did Ronald Reagan Have Alzheimer’s The Debate Goes On

    President Reagan’s daughter talks father’s Alzheimer’s

    In a difficult footnote to the Reagan Centennial celebration, questions persist about Ronald Reagan’s mental status during his White House days.

    When did the Alzheimer’s disease start? The debate has provoked the latest Reagan family feud. In his new book “My Father at 100,” Ron Reagan contends his father showed signs of Alzheimer’s Disease three years into his first term. He said he noticed it in the president’s performance in the Oct.7, 1984, campaign debate with Democratic challenger Walter Mondale.

    He writes, “My heart sank as he floundered his way through his responses, fumbling with his notes, uncharacteristically lost for words. He looked tired and bewildered.”

    “Knowing what we know now, about the nature of Alzheimer’s disease, we know that, decades before symptoms begin arriving, changes are happening in the brain,” Ron Reagan adds.

    The late president’s eldest son, Michael Reagan, had an angry reaction to Ron’s assertions. In a Twitter post, Michael fired back: “Ron, my brother was an embarrassment to his father when he was alive and today he became an embarrassment to his mother.”

    Early Show co-anchor Erica Hill asked, “Could it be possible there may have been something else? Could he have had dementia?”

    “No, he didn’t have dementia,” Reagan proclaimed.

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    Medical Mystery: Did Reagan Have Alzheimer’s While President

    During this presidential election season, Allan B. Schwartz, a professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology & Hypertension at Drexel University College of Medicine, is writing about medical mysteries in the Oval Office. Today, his subject is the 40th president.

    At age 70, Ronald Reagan was the oldest person ever to be inaugurated U.S. president.

    Known as the Great Communicator, he had a sense of humor that was legendary, and sometimes targeted on his own age.

    He is quoted to have said: “I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I am in a Cabinet meeting.”

    Another time, he said, “To show you how youthful I am, I intend to campaign in all 13 states.”

    But some incidents weren’t so funny. At a 1984 photo session at the president’s Santa Barbara ranch, a reporter called out a question about arms control. Reagan answered: “Well, we uh, well . . . I guess, uh, well, we uh . . .” His wife, Nancy, came to rescue, prompting him with a quiet, “We’re doing the best we can.”

    Smiling, Reagan called out loudly, “We’re doing the best we can!”

    In 1985, news broke that the administration had supplied weapons to Iran for a hostage exchange, and millions of dollars plus guns were routed to right-wing “Contra” guerrillas in Nicaragua.

    Many wondered whether this was a cover-up, or whether Reagan really did forget.

    Did Reagan have Alzheimer’s disease while he was in office?

    How Ronald Reagan Dealt With His Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

    Newsweek Special Edition U.S.Ronald ReaganAlzheimer’s diseaseNancy ReaganDementia

    “I only wish… I could spare Nancy.”

    When former President Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, he dealt with the news with impeccable grace and charm. In a new special edition, Newsweek honors the life, legacy and long shadow of former President Ronald Reagan. The following article, by Tom Morganthau, is from the November 14, 1994, issue of Newsweek.

    The letter, written in the former president’s own hand, was calm and positive despite the grim news: Ronald Reagan, now 83, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. “At the moment I feel just fine,” Reagan wrote last week. “I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done. Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience.” Then he summed up: “I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.”

    Reagan’s doctors, in a letter released with his, seemed confident of their diagnosis, though they gave no explanation of the tests or procedures they used to reach it. Still, experts say that with good care, Reagan should be able to function normally for several more years and continue to enjoy his retirement.

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