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Ted Turner Opens Up About Having Lewy Body Dementia

Oct 1, 2018
Originally published on October 1, 2018 12:14 pm

On Sunday's CBS Sunday Morning, Ted Koppel reminisced about the many profiles of media giant Ted Turner that have aired on the network, beginning all the way back in the 1970s, when he hadn't started CNN but had bought Atlanta's baseball and basketball teams. Now, about to turn 80, Turner told Koppel about his diagnosis of Lewy body dementia.

He acknowledged that in addition to memory difficulties, it causes exhaustion. In fact, as he noted with a tinge of humor, he wasn't able to bring the name of the disease to mind even as he was talking about how it affected him. Turner is still active, however: He was seen not only practicing yoga but continuing to wander his immense Montana ranch on horseback.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Lewy body dementia is caused by protein deposits in the brain — named "Lewy bodies" after the neurologist who discovered them. The deposits cause changes in brain chemistry that disrupt thinking and behavior as well as movement. The disease also reportedly affected actor Robin Williams prior to his death in 2014.

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