As a dedicated trekkie myself, it is with respect and sadness that I report the actor, James Doohan aged 84, has been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's. Known to most of us as Scotty, James Doohan has been experiencing memory loss problems for a number of months. His doctors have been investigating the causes of this whilst treating him for a number of other serious medical conditions namely Parkinson's disease, diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis.
Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is often made more complicated when there are pre-existing medical conditions. The diseases themselves, medications used to treat them and the psychological upset that results from coping and living with degenerative disease can make diagnosis very difficult.
The Doohan family already have experience of Alzheimer's. James Doohan's brother suffered from it and he died two years ago.
Star Trek fans will be pleased to hear that Mr Doohan or Lt Commander Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineer on the Star-ship Enterprise, is still planning to attend the Star Trek convention in August.
Although his diagnosis may make it more difficult I hope he continues to take part in future events. Having Alzheimer's disease should not mean that people should be hidden away. His and his families pleasure and pride at being part of something that has given such happiness to others should make us more open to future changes that happen to people.