This week the US country-pop icon Glen Campbell announced that he is officially retiring from touring, as his Alzheimer’s disease has become too much of a burden. In 2011, Campbell announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and that he had been suffering from short term memory loss for years.
On Wednesday, Glen’s daughter, Ashley, appealed to US Senators on Capitol Hill for federal support for nationwide research programmes and on-going research into the disease. She told the congregation: "I think a person's life is comprised of memories and that's exactly what this disease takes away from you.”
Glen, who turned 77 this week, has been praised by addiction-medicine specialists in recent years for openly acknowledging his past struggles with alcohol and drug abuse. Although this is not a direct cause of Alzheimer’s, Dr Ronald Devere, fellow of the American Academy of Neurology emphasised how it can leave individuals more susceptible to the disease.
During his 50 years in show business, Campbell has released more than 70 albums and sold more than 45 million records. His best known singles include “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman.” In addition to his music career, he also was also a successful actor, winning a Golden Globe nomination for his role in True Grit alongside John Wayne.
As his daughter noted; Alzheimer’s has robbed Glen of his memories he built up as a lifelong entertainer. Let’s hope that Ashley and Glen Campbell’s story will help raise awareness of the need for research into this debilitating disease.