Biden, Reagan, Bruce Willis, Leo Tolstoy are victims of one terrible disease. She brings suffering and death

US President Joe Biden.

US President Joe Biden.

A photo: REUTERS

The whole world trumpets the threat and risks for everyone Alzheimer’s disease. This diagnosis is tantamount to a death sentence. There are many deadly diseases in the world. Alzheimer’s is terrible because for many years before the patient gives his soul to God, he ceases to recognize relatives and friends, forgets the past, does not perceive the world around him and himself. And so far there are no medicines, vaccines, other medical means to heal the patient.

Because Alzheimer’s has become synonymous with hopelessness, fear, horror.

“It is a neurodegenerative disease associated with the aging of our brain,” explains the author of the medical bestseller-22 “Alzheimer” doctor Valery Novoselov. – So frequent today that feature films are already being made about him: “Still Alice”, “The Notebook”, “Iron Lady” … The psychological drama “Father” with Sir Anthony Hopkins received six Oscar nominations last year. Hopkins (Best Actor) and the film’s script received the coveted statuettes.

– And there are a lot of sad anecdotes. For example, “Granddaughter, remind me the name of that German, because of which I’m going crazy.”

– Alois Alzheimer. In 1907, when neurosyphilis was the main cause of dementia, he described a variant of the new dementia. In his honor, this dementia was named. In my library, however, there is a textbook on neurology by Alexei Yakovlevich Kozhevnikov, an honored professor of the Imperial Moscow University, published in 1904. On p. 215 – imagine! – a detailed description of what today is called Alzheimer’s disease. Despite the fact that the founder of Russian neurology Kozhevnikov left this world in 1902.

– It turns out that the Russian doctor was the first. Why, then, Alzheimer’s disease, and not Kozhevnikov’s?

– Europeans have long been great masters of marketing. They fussed, staked out the disease. And we…

Alzheimer’s is a disease of the elderly. No wonder the people call it senile scleroh.

– The disease “senile sclerosis” does not exist! The popular expression is also inappropriate – “he is in insanity.” Correctly speaking dementia (acquired dementia), dementia syndrome or severe cognitive impairment (attention, memory, speech, perception, control functions).

– If my memory serves me right, there was no Alzheimer’s in the USSR. As well as sex. The main medical horror story then was cancer, which was considered incurable. At the end of the USSR, AIDS became a scarecrow. I remember a joke: “The best cure for AIDS is to sleep alone!” Although the people were afraid that you could get infected from a mosquito bite.

– Of course, Alzheimer’s, like sex, was both in the USSR and in the West. But little attention was paid to him. Just one of many diseases.

– When did “horror, horror, horror” arise?

– In 1994, 83-year-old former US President Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with this disease. He addressed the nation: “I was told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease … I am now starting a journey that will lead me to the end of my days.”

The nation is in shock. The press constantly fueled interest in Reagan’s illness. He was invigorated at first. Then the family completely isolated him. The brain was destroyed, the ex-president did not recognize others. In 2004 he died. After 10 years of suffering, the family said. The following year, 2005, it was officially announced that the ex-prime minister of Great Britain, the “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, was suffering from dementia. She passed away in 2013. She was 87.

Years of suffering, the death of two world leaders and stirred up interest in Alzheimer’s. If medicine is powerless to help such people?! There were studies, films, anecdotes…


– In November 80 hit the current US President Joe Biden. There are persistent rumors that he also suffers from Alzheimer’s. Constant reservations, forgetfulness, trampling on the stage, shaking hands into the void …

– I can’t make a definitive diagnosis in absentia. We need the patient himself to carry out diagnostics, his medical documentation, brain scans. But, I confess, I have been following this patient professionally on TV for a long time. And I note the signs of a gradual cognitive decline characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

– Enumerate, Valery Mikhailovich.

– There are obvious memory impairments. Harris called Vice President Kamala “President Elect.” Tried to give the floor to a congresswoman who died in a car accident. He said that there are 54 states in the USA, and there are only 50 of them. He publicly stated that his eldest son Bo died in Iraq, although he died at home from cancer. Such errors are innumerable. Difficulties with the reproduction of information, the selection of words, the presentation of thoughts. Often loses thought in the process of its presentation. Impoverishment and slowing down of speech. A clear decrease in the ability to concentrate. Inflexibility of thinking. The face is like a mask. In addition, the patient has three geriatric syndromes that I, a professional, can clearly see on TV broadcasts: senile asthenia, sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass), osteoporosis. But the president is prone to falls.

– Everyone saw how he fell on the ladder of the plane, out of the blue he fell off the bike!

– I won’t be surprised if Biden breaks his forearm or hip. Reagan, by the way, broke his leg in dementia, Thatcher broke his arm. All three syndromes worsen the course of Alzheimer’s disease.

– However, the owner of the White House is going to run for the presidential elections in 2024 again. Does he even know what he is saying?

– Alas, the patient no longer understands what state he is in: the body falls and stumbles, the brain is unlikely to be able to clearly express its thought without the help of a cheat sheet and a teleprompter. Reagan, announcing the nation about the disease, soberly assessed his possibilities. Biden has already passed this stage, where he went further on the path of dementia. It is unlikely that he will be able to live without the constant help of his wife and loved ones. This acquired dependence on help is an essential feature of dementia.


– An illustrative example. In the spring, the organizers of the Golden Raspberry parody award, the antipode of the Oscars, introduced a special nomination “The worst performance of Bruce Willis in a film of 2021”. There were already 8 of them. The anti-award was given for the main role of the general in Star Frontier. Critics scolded Bruce, who “dozes off during this terrible sci-fi blunder.” The “winner” himself did not react in any way. But the family turned to the fans of the “Die Hard”. Our beloved Bruce has cognitive problems, aphasia. Due to illness, he ends his film career. At 67! Under pressure from fans, the jury canceled Willis’s anti-award.

– It is not good to offend the sick.

– Aphasia, I will explain, a complete or partial disorder, loss of speech. But this is not a separate disease, as many now believe in connection with the illness of Bruce Willis. A symptom, a manifestation of many ailments associated with brain damage. Aphasia was in Lenin, who died of neurosyphilis. Aphasia suffered for a long time Sharon Stone, who suffered a severe stroke in 2001.

In recent years, Bruce has increasingly appeared in low-brow action films. Colleagues told the media that he looked lowered on the set, indifferent, constantly forgetting words, so he was given only the simplest roles with a minimum of speech. But producers and directors continued to invite the fading Hollywood star into their crafts, hoping to attract the attention of the audience with his loud name. This sequence – memory problems, their increase, then more aphasia, a speech disorder – indicates that Bruce Willis suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the family announced his departure from the cinema. Bruce himself is no longer in a position to make decisions.

– The other day, the family gave him a Christmas holiday ahead of schedule. They write that he already ceases to recognize his relatives.

– Dementia progresses. In a good way, the Biden family should also recall poor Joe from the White House. The patient needs rest, a rocking chair and a blanket, I’m sure. Instead, someone takes advantage of his helplessness, like the directors of shoddy action films in the case of Bruce Willis, and runs a great country from behind the back of a sick Joe.

– The director in the White House is famous. Barack Hussein Obama. Twice trumpeted as President of the United States. The third term is not required by law. But there is a desire. He is only 61 years old. So he rules the country behind the helpless Joe. The entire Biden team is actually Obama’s people. And the family is powerless.

– Humanly sorry for Biden’s patient.


– Alzheimer’s disease is not only memory impairment, as many still believe, but also behavioral disorders, psychopathological manifestations. They have 75-80% of patients with dementia.

Leo Tolstoy in 1910, having quarreled with his wife, and this is also often the case with dementia, secretly fled from Yasnaya Polyana without any specific plan for a new life. At 82! I changed three trains, from Kozelsk on a coachman I got to the Shamorda convent to my beloved sister Maria Nikolaevna Tolstaya – a nun. At dawn, without saying goodbye to her, he returned to Kozelsk, boarded the first Smolensk-Ranenburg train that approached the platform without a ticket.

– Ranenburg is my native station in the Lipetsk region. But the writer did not reach her. He died at the nearby station Astapovo, now – Leo Tolstoy.

– Everything here is strange: the lack of a plan of action, the underestimation of one’s age, physical capabilities, which the count no longer had. Typical Alzheimer. Do you remember Plyushkin from Dead Souls?

– Of course. A synonym for a pathological miser, a cheapskate!

– To quote Gogol: “he walked every day through the streets of his village, looked under the bridges, under the crossbars and everything that came across to him: an old sole, a woman’s rag, an iron nail, a clay shard, – he dragged everything to himself and put it in that pile , which Chichikov noticed in the corner of the room.

– Although Plyushkin is a landowner, the owner of eight hundred peasants. And so it went down! No wonder Gogol called him “a hole in humanity.”

– Stepan Plyushkin, about 70 years old, is not to blame. He is also a victim of Alzheimer’s. Gogol did not fantasize. And today, after the death in old age, lonely, even well-known people (I won’t name names!) Find their apartments littered to the ceiling with rags, bottles and other rubbish that they dragged from the trash cans.

– In Moscow, not far from me, an old woman also filled the apartment with garbage, which she collected and brought home in a baby carriage. No matter where the neighbors, stupefied by the stench, complained.

– Alzheimer’s is multifaceted.

– How many people suffer from it in Russia and the world?

– In Russia, according to expert estimates, there are 1.5-2 million patients with dementia, which is based on neurodegenerative processes. This means that every hundredth citizen of our country requires constant medical and social assistance. If there is a patient with dementia in the family, then all relatives participate in the care. This is a few million more people whose lives are largely stopped. More often these are daughters and sons who are already on the verge of old age, when you need to devote time to your health and grandchildren. This is a noticeable problem in our rapidly aging society.

There are 50-65 million patients in the world. By 2050, according to forecasts, there will be 150-160 million people on the planet.

The main problem is that Alzheimer’s is incurable. While incurable…

(To be continued)

How to avoid, or at least delay the arrival of the sinister Alzheimer’s.


Valery Novoselov, 61. Geriatrician, neurologist, neurophysiologist, former post-graduate student of the Brain Research Institute of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences. Graduate of the First Medical Institute (now Sechenov University). For more than a third of a century, he has been studying the topic of human aging. He heads the oldest scientific community of gerontologists in the post-Soviet space – the section of gerontology of the MOIP at Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov. Author of 15 popular books on health and aging. Permanent contributor to Komsomolskaya Pravda




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