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Alzheimer's- Memory Loss. Rita Hayworth to President Ronald Reagan

Updated on April 2, 2015

President Ronald Reagan

Died from Alzheimer's in 2004
Died from Alzheimer's in 2004

What is Alzheimer's?

What is Alzheimers ? Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that begins with memory loss and eventually leads to dementia and death. It affects up to 10% of people in America who are over 65, and almost half of those who are over 85. It has been predicted that in the coming years, these percentages are likely to rise. Such an increase, combined with the rapidly growing size of the older population, could result in an epidemic of Alzheimer's cases.

About Alzheimers Disease;

Alzheimer's disease targets a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is the seat of memory and intellect. In a person with Alzheimer's, the neurons in the hippocampus become entangled, resulting in plaque formations that cause loss of brain cells, especially those that make new memories and retrieve old ones. The result is serious memory problems that are characteristic of Alzheimer's Disease.

In the early stages, people will experience some mild memory problems. They may struggle with complex tasks like planning a party or balancing a check book. As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember events that occurred very recently. Memory loss at this point looks more and more like dementia: affected people may not recognize others close to them.

Eventually, complete dementia sets in. Personal memories disappear, and with them, the ability to recognize family and places. Functional memories also become irretrievable. The person forgets how to perform daily routines which include getting dressed, brushing teeth, and using the toilet. Hallucinations or episodes of violence often attend this stage of the disease. By this point, family members are no longer capable of taking care of the sufferer, and 24 hour care is necessary.

Rita Hayworth Died from Alzheimers

Died  in 1987
Died in 1987

No for Alzheimers Cure, But Help

There is no cure for Alzheimer's because at this time, no one is quite sure of the cause. There are some things that have been linked to Alzheimer's, and can accelerate the disease in sufferers. Heredity is considered to play a factor, but as with most inherited disease, a certain gene probably does not result in Alzheimer's all on its own, and it is highly likely that environmental causes must be present too.

The most promising research into Alzheimer's has discovered that free radicals play a significant role in the disorder. Since we know that good nutrition and herbal therapies prevent and fight a majority of free radical damage, it is a good idea for anyone in the early stages of Alzheimer's to follow the recommendations outlined here. Environmental toxins should also be avoided as much as possible.

There is little that the medical community can do for Alzheimer's sufferers, however, It is believed that those who suffer from this disease are suffering from depression, hypothyroidism, B12 folic acid deficiency, or a combination of these.

Natural herbal remedies can help slow down the disease and improve quality of life.

The best thing that anyone can do is to eat a healthy unprocessed foods. (Processed foods contain toxins.) Avoiding toxins and buying organic whenever possible is probably the very best thing that a person in the early stages of Alzheimer's can do.

Avoiding alcohol and tap water at all costs is crucial. Tap water contains contaminants and metals that research has shown to be linked with the disease.

Supplements for Alzheimer's Disease

  • Acetyl-L-carnitine - 1,000 mg X3 daily. It boosts circulation and memory.
  • Fish oil - supplies essential fatty acids for proper brain function.
  • Gigko biloba - improves irculation and has antioxidant benefits.
  • Vitamin B12 - Using this sublingual form. Many symptoms of vitamin B12 are the same as Alzheimer's symptoms.

Rita Hayworth's Decline, & Reagan's Diagnosis

Rita Hayworth was one of the top pinup girl movie stars of the 1940s. She had also always battled alcoholism according to daughter Yasmin, who said she remembers clearly thinking that her mother was an alcoholic when she began noticing her mothers extreme mood changes.

In 1972 at the age of 54, Rita made a movie called The Wrath of God. During the filming of this movie she was unable to remember lines, and the director filmed one line at a time. Rita was depressed by her deteriorating mental state, and inability to remember her lines. She rarely ever appeared on television or in movies after that.

In 1974 her brothers died in the same week and Rita began to drink so heavily that she caused scene in an airport and had an angry outburst after having several drinks on the airplane. There were photographs published in all the major tabloids of the time with Rita appearing disheveled and drunk.

She had a drinking problem for sure, but her drinking was masking signs of Alzheimer's disease, which she was not officially diagnosed with until the 1980s.

It was Rita's death from the disease that brought the name, "Alzheimers" into common knowledge. Fans learned that Rita's erratic behavior was due to an illness and not just because she was an out of control alcoholic. Because she was such a major celebrity and there was so little known about this disease, it was helpful to examine her behavior and life's events. Many believe that Hayworth was suffering from the earliest signs of Alzheimer's while still in her 40s. This sheds light on the theory that Alzheimer's disease is a disease of old age.

Approximately seventeen years after Rita Hayworth's death, the greatest president of the twentieth century, Ronald Reagan, died from the same disease. In seems that after Reagan created the biggest economic boom of all time, defeated America's public enemy number one; The Soviet Union, and gave his famous speech to tear down the Berlin wall, he disappeared. Reagan was seldom seen publicly, and his last years were private, as he suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's; Growing Awareness

The death of Rita Hayworth largely brought the name, "Alzheimer's" into the mainstream. After she passed, there was intense media coverage on the disease. By 1989 Alzheimer's disease was as well unknown as AIDS, often referred to as "old timers disease". That nickname unfortunately has created confusion about the disease as Alzheimer's does not necessarily take effect in the elderly. Rita Hayworth has obvious signs of the disease while in her 40's; but usually the symptoms are not alarming until latter life. When the country's greatest president, President Ronald Reagan, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's it let to sadness, coupled with a feeling of awe that the president was able to fulfill his terms in office to such perfection, and then just into retirement, had to undergo hospital care.

Fortunately, for Americans, Germans and just about the entire world, Reagan stepped into office and the hostages that had been captive under the Carter administration were released due to the fear Iran had about a stronger man being in office. Also, America was relived of tax burden as he wrote the largest tax cuts for all citizens, resulting in the biggest economic boom ever, and then conquered the USSR, which was determined to engage the U.S. in a nuclear war. Last but not least, with the fall of communism came the fall of the Berlin wall. All the socialist restraints were relived from East Germany as citizens who previously would have been shot for sitting on the Berlin wall were now having a party on it. Grateful America guessed that Reagan was destined to deliver a mountain of good; and when the term of office was up, the man who had such brilliant vision of how to make America number one had slipped away.

A Bad Memory

We all have occasional moments of forgetfulness, and many people notice that by late middle age, it has become more and more difficult to remember details. If you have misplace your keys again or forgotten to pick up eggs at the store, and can't remember the names of your new clients, you are probably not suffering from Alzheimer's.

You may need to boost your nutritional intake and take a few brain enhancing vitamins. A diet that is too high in fat and low in nutrients, with an excess of free radicals combined with stress and alcohol can easily lead to memory problems.

It is recommended to switch to a diet as close to organic as possible, and take in antioxidants A,C, and E, to combat the damage of free radicals. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. Be sure to have a couple of servings at every meal.

A deficiency of B-complex vitamins as been proven to cause memory problems. Brewer's yeast is a potent source of B vitamins as are wheat germ, eggs, and spirulina.

Improving circulation increases energy levels, and detoxifies the body, drink a glass of water at least every two hours.

Eat plenty of fiber to keep toxins moving through your digestive tract and to prevent them from taking up residence in our body. Whole grains, oats and raw vegetables are a good source of fiber.

Supplements to improve memory

  • Phosphatidylserine- This is a naturally occurring phospholipid that improves brain cell communication.
  • Bacopa- Has been proven to improve memory and recall.
  • Ginkgo biloba - Improves circulation to the brain.

Link To My Hub Pages

  • Skarlet HubPages
    I write many Hebpages on various subjects including classic Hollywood and vintage everything. I also hubs on business, investing and various ways of generating income. I have also published books, and numerous articles online. Links to many of my pages can be found at the above address. Sincerely, Skarlet


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    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Thank you billybuc,

      I am sorry about your friend. Only 52 and deteriorating, I sure wish this disease were more thoroughly understood.

      Thank you for the congrats, I feel good about it:)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My best friend is 52 yrs old and has this; he was diagnosed when he was 46 and he is beginning to deteriorate rapidly now. It is a sad, sad illness that is so hard to witness. Thank you for increasing awareness about this subject and belatedly, congratulations on your 200 hubs.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I hope that one day they find a cure for this disease. Meanwhile, your advice is will help many to live a longer, healthier life. Great topic and very meaningful. voted up.