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Nancy trauma unfolds on TV

Los Angeles, Sept. 25 (Reuters): Former first lady Nancy Reagan said in an interview on CBS today that she is no longer sure that her husband, ex-President Ronald Reagan, recognises her because of the deterioration he has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

In an interview with Mike Wallace to be shown CBS’s “60 Minutes II”, Reagan says that life with the 91-year-old former President has become sad and lonely but that she and her sometimes estranged daughter Patti have reconciled and that her husband may sense that.

“The golden years are when you can sit back, hopefully, and exchange memories and that’s the worst part about this disease: there’s nobody to exchange memories with and ... we had a lot of memories,” she said.

Reagan said her husband did not know they recently had their 50th wedding anniversary and told Wallace: “I’d love to talk to him about it and there were times when I had to catch myself because I’d reach out and start to say, ‘Honey, remember when'’” Asked if he still recognised her, she said,“I don’t know.”

But she said she thinks her daughter might be right when she says that the former President senses that mother and daughter patched up their differences.

“(Patti) thinks he has gotten a feeling of the two of us together and, as she says, his soul doesn’t have Alzheimer’s.”

Reagan, the 40th President of the US, revealed in 1994 that he had Alzheimer’s.

The disease caused him to fail to recognise old friends or even recall that he was President but for a while his physical robustness remained and he exercised by playing golf.

But he became more and more frail as time went by and had difficulty moving about in his home in the exclusive Bel-Air district of Los Angeles, where his second wife, Nancy, became his primary care giver.

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