GREAT NECK, NY—There is growing debate about whether Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has a form of dementia, which a New York geriatrician says initially can be hard for the uneducated eye to detect.
“In essence, a person experiencing the early effects of dementia can appear normal to the uneducated eye,” says Gisele Wolf-Klein, MD, director of geriatric education for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “These patients can still care for themselves, and perform routine functions, like driving in a familiar area.”
Dr. Wolf-Klein notes, however, that it is the degenerative effects of the disease that make it so harmful.
“Patients over prolonged periods of time become less and less able to handle their daily activities, with memory loss having a dramatic effect on their ability to perform everyday routines.”
While Mr. Sterling is adamant that he can maintain ownership of the team, following Mr. Sterling’s completion of his cognition evaluation and interview, he admitted to having trouble recalling words, names and streets. This lead Dr. James Spar of UCLA to speculate that he had probably had Alzheimer’s for at least three years.