Kris Kristofferson Has Lyme Disease, Not Alzheimer’s
Excerpted from The Newsmax Health Times : (06/09/2016)
Country music legend Kris Kristofferson, who has battled memory problems for years, is apparently among many Americans who have been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, only to learn later that they actually have a treatable illness – in this case, Lyme disease, a top expert says.
“I think that it’s possible for Lyme disease to be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s and Kris Kristofferson’s story speaks to the importance of an accurate diagnosis,” Dr. Gary Small, director of the University of California-Los Angeles Longevity Center, tells Newsmax Health.
Kristofferson, 79, was under the belief that his longstanding memory problems stemmed from Alzheimer’s, but now his wife says that the iconic singer, songwriter, and award-wining actor actually had untreated Lyme disease. After just a few weeks of treatment, he turned around, she says.
“All of a sudden he was back,” Lisa Kristofferson tells Rolling Stone. “There are still bad days. [But] some days he’s perfectly normal and it’s easy to forget that he is even battling anything.”
For years, doctors had been telling Kristofferson that his increasingly debilitating memory loss was due to either Alzheimer’s or to dementia brought on by blows to the head from boxing, football, and rugby he played in his teens and early 20s. Some days, Kristofferson couldn’t even remember what he was doing from one moment to the next, the article says.
But, earlier this year, a doctor decided to test Kristofferson for Lyme disease, and the test came back positive. After three weeks of treatment for the ailment – along with getting off the drugs for Alzheimer’s and depression that he was taking – the singer’s memory problems have largely disappeared, the article indicates.
According to Small, while Alzheimer’s disease is often under diagnosed, it can also be misdiagnosed.