Winner of 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature Has Dementia
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature, has dementia. One of the most highly regarded writers in the world, Colombian Garcia Marquez has written many books, but the most famous, and arguably the most brilliant and is 'One Thousand Years of Solitude'. The book, first published in 1967, begins with the story of a family unable to care for their senile grandfather.
Former American President Bill Clinton has called Mr Marquez “the most important writer of fiction in any language”. Sadly, the 85 year old journalist, screenwriter and novelist who lives in Mexico, has stopped writing completely. His last work, 'Memories of My Melancholy Whores' was published in 2005 and is about a 90 year-old man who falls in love for the first time in his life with a very young concubine.
Mr Marquez’s brother, Jaime is the first member of the family to talk about ‘memory problems’ that have been rumored for some time. Jaime reports that… "He is doing well physically, but he has been suffering from dementia for a long time”. He also said that… "he still has the humour, joy and enthusiasm that he has always had. But it’s a disease that runs in the family.”
The writer was diagnosed with Lymphatic cancer in 1999 and treated with chemotherapy. Apparently both García Márquez’s younger brother and mother suffered from Alzheimers."
Age is the major risk factor for Alzheimer’s. The rates double every 5 years after the age of 65 so that by the age of 85 between 40 to 50% of the population have Alzheimer’s disease.
A family history is another strong risk factor. People who have a parent, brother, sister or child with Alzheimer’s disease, are more likely to develop it. That risk increases if more than one family member has Alzheimer’s. The cause is either heredity (genetics) or environmental factors, or both.
Born in Aracataca, Colombia, Gabriel Garcia Marquez novels include Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The General in His Labyrinth. His most well known book, One Hundred Years of Solitude, has sold 30 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 30 languages.
Agronin M.E. 2004. Dementia: A Practical Guide. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins Philadelphia.