According to a book recently published by Ronald Reagan’s son, the 40th President of the US was suffering from Alzheimer’s, even during his presidency.
The ex-actor who went on to become a Republican President was diagnosed with the disease in 1994, just five years after leaving office. He died ten years later, at age 93, from complications with the disease.
In his memoir, Ron Reagan Jnr. recalls how his father frequently looked “lost and bewildered” during presidential debates in 1984 and suspects that his father may have feared the onset of the disease when he could no longer remember the names of very familiar canyons in California.
Had his father been diagnosed earlier, Ron Reagan believes that he would have left office before the end of his second presidential term, but, of course, there are those who suggest his Alzheimer’s affliction was known during this period, despite doctors at the White House denying any evidence of it.
Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease that has suffered much stigmatization due to being a neurological disorder that destroys brain cells. Its symptoms include difficulty performing familiar tasks; confusion and memory issues.
That Ronald Reagan suffered this condition is a reminder that none of us are superhuman, and we are all prone to the same diseases and afflictions, and such information should not be allowed to besmirch the man’s reputation or his achievements during his period of office. “That likely condition, though, serves as a reminder that when we elect presidents, we elect human beings with all their foibles and weaknesses, psychological and physiological.”
My Father at 100 by Ron Reagan is published by Viking.
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