An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, and the number is expected to triple within 10 years. Families of patients are making efforts to push the private and public sectors toward finding better treatments.
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SUSAN DENTZER, NewsHour Health Correspondent:
This is Harvey Gralnick, age 70, 12 years into the ravages of Alzheimer's.
This was Harvey Gralnick at his prime. His diplomas and awards speak to his distinction as a longtime physician and research scientist at the National Institutes of Health. Gralnick was 58 at the peak of his NIH career when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's.
OK, good job.
His wife, former television journalist Meryl Comer, describes how this main form of dementia sapped his intellect and destroyed his personhood.
Somebody once described it as a house where you see one light go off at a time, or watching somebody in slow motion die, lose their mind in front of your eyes, literally lose their mind in front of your eyes. Very painful to watch, especially knowing what he was.