LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It's been almost 15 years since former U.S. President Ronald Reagan told the world he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, hoping his disclosure would promote awareness of the heart-breaking brain disorder that slowly destroys memory.
Now, with an estimated 26 million people worldwide living with disease and a predicted 11 million by 2050 in the United States alone, a unique series by cable TV network HBO aims to change how people think of Alzheimer's so they will put time and money into finding a cure.
The unprecedented multi-platform series runs throughout May and features four documentaries, 15 short films, a book, a community outreach program and a website (www.HBO.com/alzheimers) covering every aspect of Alzheimer's.
"The numbers are growing at a rate that nobody ever fathomed. As babyboomers age, it is coming right at us and we have to do something," said Maria Shriver, wife of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and executive producer of "The Alzheimer's Project."