Press Releases: 04/18/11

CNN (2)

CNN Presents: A Larry King Special – Unthinkable: the Alzheimer’s Epidemic

On Sunday May 1st, CNN will air the first Larry King special, premiering at 8pm ET/PT and will be titled “Unthinkable: the Alzheimer’s Epidemic.” It’s being called the disease of the 21st century as an estimated 5.4 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is the sixth-leading cause of death across all ages in the United States, but many Americans still do not know much about this illness. The one-hour special will look into Alzheimer’s disease, who gets it and why, the race to find effective treatments and a possible cure.

King will be joined by people who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and will include interviews with former First Lady Laura Bush and California’s former First Lady and Alzheimer’s activist Maria Shriver; actors Seth Rogen, and Angie Dickinson; TV host Leeza Gibbons; football star Terrell Owens and son of President Ronald Reagan, Ron Reagan. Neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will explain what Alzheimer’s is and how this disease affects the human brain.

Seth Rogen, talks to King about supporting his fiancée and her family as they deal with her mom’s early diagnosis at the age of fifty-five. He wants the world to know this is a young person’s problem too, “More and more people in our generation are gonna have to deal with it,” Rogen said. “We’re dealing with it before most people have to,” he tells King. “But as you get older and you see it happening to your parents, and ultimately realize it could happen to yourself and your friends, it becomes much more real and not some imaginary old person problem, you know?” Shriver, in the first interview she’s given since losing her father, Sargent Shriver, to Alzheimer’s disease this year tells King, “I think anybody who’s not concerned about Alzheimer’s is in denial.”

In addition to visiting the Mayo Clinic, Larry King will visit the cutting-edge Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, and he will be joined by Ron Reagan. While there, one of them will take a brain scan that will indicate if he is at risk for Alzheimer’s or other memory disorders, and one will opt out. Tune in and as they will share the results with the audience and talk to Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, Director, Cleveland

Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Larry Ruvo, philanthropist and visionary, to see how doctors are treating patients and what people can do to diminish their risk for Alzheimer’s. Dr. Ronald Petersen, Director, Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, who treated President Reagan warned, “If we don’t do something about Alzheimer’s disease right now, Alzheimer’s disease in and of itself may bankrupt the healthcare system.” The special hour will also broadcast on CNNi and will re-air on Saturday, May 7 at 8pm ET/PT. For additional information please visit Exclusive content will be featured on including interviews with actor David Hyde Pierce and Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association.



Reported by Soledad O’Brien

CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien examines the lives of Catherine Middleton and Prince William in a documentary that explores how the future King and Queen have been influenced by the legacy of his mother, Princess Diana, and are forging a very modern royal marriage. O’Brien chronicles their friendship-turned-romance, and how they are preparing for an “ordinary” married life in North Wales following their nuptials.

Speaking about young Prince William’s early life, Christopher Andersen, author of several books about the royal family, tells O’Brien that sometimes Princess Diana’s eldest son was a witness to his parent’s troubled marriage. Andersen suggests the prince’s early sad family experiences may yield insights into his deliberation for his own romantic life, and to what drew the prince to his fiancée.

“William became sort of ‘the fixer’ … here’s this little boy when his mother locks herself in the bathroom after an argument with Charles, and she’s sobbing, and here’s little seven-year-old William slipping tissues under the door and saying, ‘I hate to see you sad, Mummy’ … so … he meets Kate and Kate exposes him to a happy family for the first time …stability,” Andersen tells O’Brien in the documentary.

Young Diana and young Kate are described by friends as painfully shy. Princess Diana was said by many who knew her to have long nursed a crush on Prince Charles, and friends of Kate Middleton have related that, similarly Kate long admired William from afar. And in 2000, both Prince William and Katherine Middleton spent portions of their “gap” years, between secondary school and university, in volunteer service in Chile, though ironically, the two were on separate missions and never met.

Kate is said to have switched her initial selection of Edinburgh University to St. Andrews University shortly after the palace announced that Prince William would be attending university there, though later, it would be Kate who would encourage struggling student, Prince William, that he could indeed make it through their challenging courses. They both completed their studies in art history there.

After their graduations, their romance took on more public visibility – and became more complicated. Reminiscent of Princess Diana, paparazzi aggressively followed Kate, and Prince William worried about Kate’s safety. The prince entered his military training, and sometimes Kate was alone for long periods. Prince William broke off their relationship in 2007, after seeking counsel from his father. Of course, the world knows the couple later reconciled and the documentary gives details of their engagement, including how and where the prince popped the question.

O’Brien describes the ways in which the couple has seemed to pursue a strong foundation for marriage – living together for a time, taking premarital counseling, and preparing for a simple early married life far from Buckingham Palace. O’Brien also reports on the moving ways in which the couple is honoring the legacy of the prince’s mother in their marriage ceremony, including Prince William’s selection of the engagement ring for his bride-to-be, and in the location the couple will take their vows, Westminster Abbey.

Also featured in the documentary are interviews with Oliver Baines, a friend of Kate Middleton’s days at boarding school; Mary Clarke, Lady Diana’s nanny; Arthur Edwards, who has photographed both princes’ lives during his 30-year career at The Sun newspaper; Berkshire pub owner and Middleton family friend John Haley; long-time friends of the couple Jules Knight and Richard Dennen; Dr. James Colthurst, Lana Marks, and Mary Robertson, long time friends of Princess Diana; Malcolm Sutherland, leader for Kate Middleton’s and Prince William’s separate Chilean volunteer service expeditions; Penny Walker, Lady Diana’s music teacher; Charles Warren, one of Prince William’s lecturers at St. Andrews; and Ken Wharfe, bodyguard for the royal family.


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