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When Alzheimer's Patients Fall in Love

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When Alzheimer's Patients Fall in Love

Health

When Alzheimer's Patients Fall in Love

When Alzheimer's Patients Fall in Love

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/16288428/16288412" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her husband John pose for a photo, during a White House retirement dinner in her honor in 2006. O'Connor left her post, she said, in order to spend more time with John, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Jeff Foott/Getty Images hide caption

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Jeff Foott/Getty Images

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her husband John pose for a photo, during a White House retirement dinner in her honor in 2006. O'Connor left her post, she said, in order to spend more time with John, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Jeff Foott/Getty Images

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's husband, who has Alzheimer's Disease, has fallen in love with another woman. O'Connor and her son are supportive of the relationship.

John O'Connor is far from the only Alzheimer's patient to be bitten by the love bug. Madeleine Brand discusses these romances with Robin Dessel, an expert on dementia.

"This is not an act of betrayal," says Dessel.

O'Connor says she agrees, but not everyone in her situation is as open-minded.