America

Son Suggests Reagan's Alzheimer's Began In White House

President Reagan addresses the Republican National Convention in Dallas on Aug. 23, 1984. i i

President Reagan addresses the Republican National Convention in Dallas on Aug. 23, 1984. AFP/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/AFP/Getty Images
President Reagan addresses the Republican National Convention in Dallas on Aug. 23, 1984.

President Reagan addresses the Republican National Convention in Dallas on Aug. 23, 1984.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

In a book due out next week the younger son of former President Reagan "suggests [that his father] suffered from Alzheimer's disease while in the White House," U.S. News & World Reports' Washington Whispers blog says.

Ron Reagan, the blog reports, writes that:

— "Three years into his first term as president ... I was feeling the first shivers of concern."

— "Watching the first of his two debates with 1984 Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale, I began to experience the nausea of a bad dream coming true. ... My heart sank as he floundered his way through his responses."

— "In July 1989, barely six months out of office, ... surgeons opening his skull to relieve pressure [during a previously unreported surgery] on the brain emerged from the operating room with the news that they had detected what they took to be probable signs of Alzheimer's disease."

The former president and former first lady Nancy Reagan told the nation of his disease in 1994. As Washington Whispers adds, suggestions that he might have suffered from it while president have previously been  "dismissed by Reagan's doctors and outside experts."

The former president died in 2004.

(H/T On Deadline)

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.