The Daily Mail has published “Terry Pratchett: ‘I’m Slipping Away A Bit At A Time…And All I Can Do Is Watch It Happen'”, the author’s extraordinary essay on his Alzheimer’s affliction:
I spoke to a fellow sufferer recently (or as I prefer to say, ‘a person who is thoroughly annoyed with the fact they have dementia’) who talked in the tones of a university lecturer and in every respect was quite capable of taking part in an animated conversation.
Nevertheless, he could not see the teacup in front of him. His eyes knew that the cup was there; his brain was not passing along the information. This disease slips you away a little bit at a time and lets you watch it happen.
David Klaus, who sent this story to me, was especially moved because Alzheimer’s contributed to the deaths of his mother and grandmother just six months apart.
Update 10/7/2008: Per David’s comment, corrected references to clarify they are about his family.