Did Ronald Reagan have Alzheimer’s Disease while he was President?
Dr Larry Altman, who was a Senior Medical columnist for the New York Times, once looked into this question and was…
“…unable to find any evidence by any medical criteria that is known to the medical profession that Mr Regan had any symptoms or signs of Alzheimer’s when he was President.”
He did discover, though, in an interview he did with Ronald Reagan in 1980, that
“…his mother had been senile for a number of years before she died. The word ‘Alzheimer’s’ was not a household word at that time, and Mr Reagan interrupted the interview to ask me about that, and I explained the new knowledge of Alzheimer’s and senile plaques in the brain and the new findings that were going on, and I had asked him, given that family history, what he would do if he were found to be senile, or to have dementia or to have Alzheimer’s, as we know it today, as President, and he said he would resign. And when I asked him how he would know that, he said, ‘I’d expect my doctors to follow me and to tell me’. They did in their everyday examinations, interchanges with him, but they did no formal testing for Alzheimer’s. The first formal psychological test only occurred about I guess it was the year following, he fell off a horse, and that was the year following he left the White House.”
Reagan’s four main White House doctors also say…
“…they never detected any evidence that his forgetfulness was more than just that. His mental competence in office, they said in a series of recent interviews, was never in doubt. Indeed, they pointed out, tests of his mental status did not begin to show evidence of the disease until the summer of 1993, more than four years after he left the White House. “
The first official announcement was a letter written by President Ronald Reagan announcing he has Alzheimer’s disease that was released on Nov 5, 1994.
However, Dr. Louis A. Gottschalk, a prominent neurologist and psychiatrist believes that Ronald Reagan was indeed starting to display early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease as the time of the presidential debates between candidates Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan in 1984.