Kris Kristofferson, an actor and country music singer-songwriter, has been struggling with memory issues for years and hasn’t been able to figure out what’s going on. During all that time, his doctors told him he had Alzheimer’s disease or possibly another form of dementia, brought on by head injuries he sustained while boxing and playing rugby and football in his younger days.
We now know that Kristofferson was misdiagnosed. Although he is well within the normal age range for dementia at 79 and was exhibiting the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, his disease is something entirely different—and treatable, although some people have reported lingering symptoms even after treatment.
The scary thing is, Kristofferson is far from the only person being misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and his disease is not the only disease that produces dementia-like symptoms. Dr. Gary Small, director of the University of California-Los Angeles Longevity Center, says:
Kris Kristofferson’s story speaks to the importance of an accurate diagnosis.
Watch the video below to learn what Kristofferson’s real diagnosis is. After a few weeks of treatment, his wife says he still has bad days but is mostly feeling and acting normal again. We hope he’ll be back to his old self and writing more music in no time!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?