Living with Alzheimer's disease
Tonight we tell a small part of the enormous tragedy that is Alzheimer’s disease by interviewing Jim Ruppert and his wife Vicky, who live in Rochester, New York. They are amazingly warm, friendly and generous people. It was an honor for me and my colleagues to be invited into their home.
According to a Gallup poll commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 Americans said that they had a family member with Alzheimer’s and 1 in 3 knew someone with the disease. But for even greater numbers to understand this disease, the cooperation of courageous people like Jim and Vicky in sharing their story is invaluable. We decided to do the reports that aired last night and tonight both as part of our ongoing effort to shed light on this huge public health problem and specifically because it is becoming apparent that more and more Americans are learning they have Alzheimer’s disease at a stage where they can discuss it.
You can watch longer portions of the interview with Jim and Vicky Ruppert here. Several viewers have written to ask why we did not mention the drugs that are approved to treat Alzheimer’s with the trade names Aricpcept, Razadyne, Excelon and Cognex. For some people, these drugs can bring an improvement in memory and awareness for a period of months. But they are certainly not cures and they do not stop the inevitable progression of the disease. Newer drugs are in the early stages of testing that could have more lasting effects. But those results are still years away.
Read more from Robert Bazell
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