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Monday, December 26, 2011

Learning To Live With Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is predicted to be the defining disease of the baby boom generation. The incurable brain disorder destroys memory, comprehension, personality, and the ability to speak and function.

As America’s 78 million baby boomers turn 65, their risk of developing the disease significantly increases. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 10 million, or one in eight baby boomers will get Alzheimer’s.

This week Here and Now presents a series of reports on Alzheimer’s. We begin with Dr. Ralph Kelly, a prominent researcher and former V.P. at biotech giant Genzyme Corporation, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at age 59. With the diagnosis, Ralph’s active life as an executive came to a halt.

In part one of a week-long series, Here and Now gets inside the Kelly family life to learn how they cope with this disease. Ralph shares his firsthand experience with Alzheimer’s, and his wife Ruth talks about the challenges of living with someone who has the disease. Our first report is produced by Iris Adler.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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