Unthinkable: The Alzheimer’s Epidemic – A Larry King Special

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***UPDATE*** Unthinkable: The Alzheimer’s Epidemic will re-air Saturday, May 7 at 8pm EDT/PDT

Larry King is set to host a series of hour-long specials on CNN — the first, “Unthinkable: The Alzheimer’s Epidemic,” airs Sunday, May 1, at 8 p.m. EDT.

Be sure to tune in as King discusses Alzheimer’s disease, who gets it and why, and the race to find effective treatments and a possible cure. King will be joined by our very own Maria Shriver, former First Lady Laura Bush, actor Seth Rogen, TV host Leeza Gibbons, football star Terrell Owens, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and others touched by the disease.

Alzheimer’s is being called the disease of the 21st century as an estimated 5.4 million people have been diagnosed with it. It is the sixth-leading cause of death across all ages in the United States, but many Americans still do not know much about this illness.

Take a look at this preview clip of Larry King’s interview with Maria.

Maria Shriver has become one of the nation’s leading advocates for families struggling with Alzheimer’s. Her father, Sargent Shriver, was diagnosed with the disease in 2003, finally passing away earlier this year at the age of 95. In 2009, she executive produced The Alzheimer’s Project, a groundbreaking four-part documentary series that premiered on HBO, attracted 11 million viewers, and won two Emmy Awards. In addition, one of the films, “Grandpa, Do you Know Who I Am?” was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for exemplifying “television with a conscience” and was based on Shriver’s best-selling children’s book dealing with Alzheimer’s. Also in 2009, Shriver testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging to encourage Congress to make Alzheimer’s a national legislative priority by enacting the recommendations put forth by the independent Alzheimer’s Study Group. In 2010, she published “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,” which was the largest study ever conducted to look at the significant impact of Alzheimer’s disease on women who, the study found, make up the majority of patients and caregivers. Shriver’s voice was instrumental in the December 2010 passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, one of the Alzheimer’s Study Group’s key recommendations. In 2010, Shriver kicked off her annual Women’s Conference with a March on Alzheimer’s in Long Beach, CA, which raised more than $300,000 to benefit the work of the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, Shriver serves on the advisory board of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.

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