My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this summer. It came on very quickly, as a serious reaction to the anesthesia during a total knee replacement in March of this year. My husband never completely recovered from the operation, and in June he was admitted to a secure unit in the nursing home section of the retirement community where we live.
My husband is an intelligent, well-educated man. He graduated summa cum laude from Washington & Lee, attended Cornell Law School (law review, order of the coif), and received an advanced law degree in international affairs from the University of Chicago. He was a Fullbright scholar. He was a skier and a distance runner until his knees gave out. Even after he retired, he coached high school lacrosse. He remained active and interested in what was going on the world.
Today he is not the same person. His memory is going. He has become frail. I don’t know if the anesthesia exacerbated some mental decline that had occurred naturally with age (he is 83), but he has never been the same since his operation.
We need more research to determine the cause of this disease.