March 5, 1995 in Nation/World

Reagan’s Alzheimer’s Harder On Family

Compiled From Wire Services

Former President Reagan is doing “fine” since his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, although the mind-crippling illness is wrenching for his wife, the former first lady said Saturday.

In an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Weekend,” Nancy Reagan wouldn’t elaborate on her husband’s physical condition. But, “there’ve been better” days, she said.

King asked if Alzheimer’s is harder on loved ones than patients. “That’s true,” Mrs. Reagan responded. And, reflecting on the joys of her life, she added: “You pay for everything, don’t you?”

Reagan, 83, disclosed in November that he was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, an incurable neurological disorder that destroys the brain’s memory cells. Some 4 million Americans have the disease, and 100,000 die every year.

Mrs. Reagan said she plans to film a public service announcement to bring attention to the disease.

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