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Pratchett donates to Alzheimer's

13th March 2008

The fantasy author Terry Pratchett has donated almost £500,000 towards research into Alzheimer’s disease.

terrypratchett

The best-selling writer, who has an early-onset form of the condition, has vowed to go to great lengths to attempt to beat the disease.

Known for being the creator of the Discworld books, the donation amounted to $1m, equivalent to about £494,000 and was announced at the Alzheimer’s research Trust annual conference.

Mr Pratchett is being treated with the Alzheimer’s drug Aricept but is having to pay for it because at 59 he is too young to be prescribed it on the NHS.

His form of Alzheimer’s, known as posterior cortical atrophy, affects the rear of the brain.

There are an estimated 15,000 sufferers with the early onset condition in the UK, among 700,000 Alzheimer’s sufferers nationally.

The author, diagnosed in December, told the conference that he his already noticing the effects of the condition and has now given up driving, although he says he is still able to type.

He told the conference: “I am, along with many others, scrabbling to stay ahead long enough to be there when the cure comes along. Say it will be soon – there’s nearly as many of us as there are cancer sufferers, and it looks as if the number of people with dementia will double within a generation.

“In most cases, alongside the sufferer you will find a spouse suffering as much. It is a shock to find out that funding for Alzheimer’s research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures.?

 

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