Reagan ravaged by Alzheimer's

Ravaged by Alzheimer's disease, former US president Ronald Reagan is no longer able to speak or feed himself and does not recognise his family.

    Reagan was the 40th US president

    People magazine, in its 5 December edition, said that Reagan

    , 92, spends his days confined to a

    hospital bed in his Los Angeles mansion under the

    intense care of his wife, Nancy.

    And the emotional and physical strain is taking a heavy toll on his

     increasingly-frail wife, 82, who fiercely protects her

    ailing husband's dignity and even bars his closest

    friends from seeing him.

    Reagan's formerly estranged step-daughter Patti Davis wrote in

    the magazine that it is only her physically robust father's

    strength that is keeping him alive.

    "I think it's the tenacity of his soul - he just isn't ready to

    leave his reunited family," she says.

    The former Republican leader announced he was suffering from the

    debilitating neural disease in 1994.

    Former Hollywood star 

    Patty Reagan said she is often asked whether her father

    recognises her as the president's entourage keeps a tight lid on

    details of his illness.

    "It makes me realise that my mother and I have been so

    protective of his condition since he became ill - almost a decade

    now - that it has allowed people to imagine he is still talking,

    still walking, still able to stumble into a moment of clarity," she


    "But it would be a disservice to every family who has an

    Alzheimer's victim in their embrace to say any of that is true, and

    I don't believe my father would want us to lie."

    Reagan's office in Los Angeles declined to comment on the

    report, but said the former president was "the same" as ever.

    Nancy Reagan, who, like her husband of more than 50 years, is a

    former Hollywood star, has appeared frailer in recent years and now

    limits her public appearances to events associated with Reagan's

    political legacy.



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