June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a good time for a reminder that Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, with more than 5 million Americans suffering from the condition, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Already the sixth leading cause of death, this incurable disease seems to be on the increase. Scientific studies have failed to pinpoint a cause, but they have ruled out a number of suspected or rumored causes, including aluminum cans and pots, aspartame (Nutrasweet and Equal), flu shots and dental fillings.
The Alzheimer’s Association is sharing a video of celebrities talking about their experiences with loved ones who have an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Perhaps you’ll recognize someone you know in their comments.
- “Before my mom lost the ability to speak, one of the most telling encounters was when she asked me how long I was in town for, when I live a mile away.”—Tony Hawk, skateboarder
- “You write it off to, oh, my mom’s getting older, or your parents do quirky things, but then it became more consistent. It finally got to the point where my mom called me one day and asked how to get home.”—Liz Hernandez, Access Hollywood correspondent
- “To hear the frustration in my dad’s voice—not knowing what was going on with this woman he was married to for 50 years—was just as heartbreaking as realizing my mom was starting to suffer from dementia.”—Timothy Omundson, actor
- “My grandpa goes back and forth between being very happy and laughing for no reason to looking very sad and depressed and having no energy.”—Janel Parrish, Pretty Little Liars actor
- “She was able to trick doctors. When they’d ask her what the date was, she’d look for a calendar on the desk to get around it. She was probably embarrassed.”—Katie Lowes, Scandal actor
- “My grandmother would talk about chickens in the yard. There were no chickens in the yard; she was thinking about Cuba.”—Oscar Nunez, The Office actor
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