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What Is Alzheimer’s Disease? And How Does It Affect 94-year-old Tony Bennett 

Tony Bennett. Photo credit: VIRGINIA SHERWOOD/NBC/GETTY IMAGES
Tony Bennett. Photo credit: VIRGINIA SHERWOOD/NBC/GETTY IMAGES

Legendary singer Tony Bennett has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The diagnosis made in 2016 and revealed this year in a new magazine article as the nonagenarian prepares a new duets album with Lady Gaga.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Alzheimer’s disease affects old people, with first symptoms appearing in mid-60s. The progressive disease destroys memory and other important mental functions. Brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die, eventually destroying memory and other important mental functions.

Memory loss and confusion are the main symptoms. No cure exists for Alzheimer’s disease, but medication and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms.

Tony Bennett was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 when he was 90-years-old. His Susan Benedetto, 54, revealed the news during an interview with Magazine of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) that emerged on Monday February 1st.

“Although [Bennett] can still recognise family members, he is not always sure where he is or what is happening around him. Mundane objects as familiar as a fork or a set of house keys can be utterly mysterious to him,” Susan said.

Bennett’s oldest son Danny, who is also his manager, told the AARP magazine that his father kept the 2016 diagnosis under wraps until now.

The 94-year-old singer was still performing regularly even before the 2016 diagnosis, Alzheimer’s disease seemingly not affecting his ability to entertain.

His wife Susan however knew something was wrong in 2015 when he started forgetting musicians’ names and began stashing a cheat sheet on a piano. Still, even after the 2016 diagnosis, Bennett couldn’t stop entertaining.

Gayatri Devi, the doctor who diagnosed Bennett’s condition, says the nonagenarian singer has cognitive issues, but multiple other areas of his brain are still resilient and functioning well.

“He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder,” said Dr. Gayatri Devi.

Bennett is preparing to release another album of duets with Lady Gaga, following 2014’s Cheek to Cheek, recorded between 2018 and 2020 as he began to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

The legendary singer is a 19-time Grammy winner whose career stretches back to the late 1940s when he returned from the second world war, and became a teen idol in the 1950s with his classy, unhurried ballads.

Bennett has maintained a successful music career and global touring ever since music debut in the 1940s.

 

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