10 Celebrities Affected By Alzheimer’s Disease

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by Marta Ribeiro |

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Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder where the patient slowly starts to lose cognitive skills which leads to emotional and physical problems. The disease affects around 5.4 million people each year in the U.S. alone. We’ve put together a list of some high-profile names who suffered from the condition, based on information from A Place For Mom.

Ronald Reagan

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While serving as president, Ronald Reagan declared November National Alzheimer’s Month. He later went on to suffer from the condition himself, announcing the news to the world in November 1994. The 40th president of the United States died of complications from the disease in 2004 at the age of 93.

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Malcolm Young

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Sixty-three-year-old Malcolm Young was the co-founder of the rock band AC/DC and rhythm guitarist for the band. The Australian musician announced in April 2014 that he was receiving treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in Sydney, and his representatives said he’d be leaving the band the following September.

Find out more about Alzheimer’s disease here.

Robin Williams

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Robin Williams was a Hollywood actor and comedian, starring in a long list of great movies like Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Good Will Hunting. In 2014, at the age of 63, the Oscar winner committed suicide following a long depression relating to Lewy Body Dementia–a disease that shares many similarities with Alzheimer’s.

NIH awarded $40 million over five years for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Read more here.

Casey Kasem

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Casey Kasem entertained different generations of children as the voice of Shaggy in the animated television series, Scooby Doo. He was also known as the voice of the American Top 40 countdown. In 2007, Kasem was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and died in 2014 at the age of 82.

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Rosa Parks

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Often known as “the Mother of the Freedom Movement,” the civil rights campaigner, Rosa Parks, was arrested in 1955 after she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. After dedicating her life to the movement, Rosa retired and wrote her autobiography.  She died in October 2005 at the age of 93.

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Charles Bronson

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Hollywood actor Charles Bronson is best remembered for films such as Death Wish, The Dirty Dozen and the Magnificent Seven. Bronson contracted Alzheimer’s disease in his later years and died of pneumonia at the age of 81 in 2003.

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Charlton Heston

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The Oscar-winning actor Charlton Heston is famous for starring in movies such as El Cid, Planet of the Apes, and The Big Country throughout his 60-year career. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003 and died in 2008 at the age of 84.

Researchers uncover gene control mechanism that holds promise as Alzheimer’s treatment. Read more.

Sugar Ray Robinson

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The professional boxer is cited as being one of the best in the world, winning both welterweight and middleweight title belts. Later in life, Robinson was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and died from the condition in 1989 at the age of 63.

Alzheimer’s clinical trials for people at risk of the disease now recruiting. 

Peter Falk

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Falk was best known for his portrayal of TV detective Columbo, a role he played for 35 years. Sadly, his physician reported that he could no longer remember the role that made him famous as his Alzheimer’s disease progressed. Falk died in 2011 at the age of 83.

A clinical trial has been given a $2.1m grant to test a cancer treatment on Alzheimer’s patients. Find out more.

Pat Summitt

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The basketball coach lead the Tennessee Lady Vols to an impressive eight NCAA championships and over the course of her coaching career and secured 1,098 wins. In 2011, Summitt retired from coaching at the age of 59 when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and became an advocate for the disease. Sadly, Summitt passed away in June 2016 at the age of 64.

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Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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