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In our series this week showcasing the Power of Love Gala supporting the Lou Ruvo Foundation for Keeping Memory Alive, we are sharing what Larry King is doing to spotlight these debilitating diseases.
NEW YORK — In his first CNN special since stepping down from his
nightly talk show, Larry King visits a Las Vegas clinic where
Alzheimer’s disease is studied. He is accompanied by former President
Ronald Reagan’s son Ron.
One of the men takes a brain scan to reveal whether he is at risk of
developing Alzheimer’s or other memory disorders. The other declines.
King, trying to pump up interest for the show, won’t say in advance
which is which. Reagan and King had visited the Lou Ruvo Center for
Brain Health at the Cleveland Clinic to learn about advances in treating
the incurable memory disorder.
King’s special, “Unthinkable: The Alzheimer’s Epidemic,” aired Sunday
at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT on CNN. It featured interviews with several
celebrities touched by the disease, including Maria Shriver, whose
father Sargent Shriver had it, and actor Seth Rogen. The mother of
Rogen’s fiancée was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 55, and he wanted
to talk about it to make clear that not only old people are affected.
King chose the topic for his first CNN special because “the disease has always fascinated me,” he said.
King, who is 77, said he is healthy but, like many older people,
Alzheimer’s is something he’s kept in the back of his mind. King is
close with former first lady Nancy Reagan, who took care of her husband
during his battle with Alzheimer’s before dying in 2004.
“Every time I can’t think of something, I get scared,” said King, who
urged people to seek medical attention if they suspect someone they
know is showing symptoms.
People shouldn’t necessarily be worried if they lose their keys occasionally.
“We all lose our keys,” he said. “It’s if you don’t know what the key is
for once you find it” that a concern should be raised, he said.