Tiffany Richardson Jackson’s 41-year-old wife, co-producer of the limited series The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, accompanied him in a recent interview. To play a man with Alzheimer’s, the Oscar-nominated actor had to reflect on his personal experience with the disease, which affects around 900,000 individuals in the United Kingdom. Alzheimer’s disease took not only his mother, but also his grandfather, aunt, and uncle.
“It’s such a smart illness. It’s frightening to watch. And we saw his mother investigate it,” LaTanya explained in March.
Despite his anguish, Jackson was motivated to create the Ptolemy Grey novel by his family’s illness. “I was creatively interested in conveying the narrative of an Alzheimer’s patient who was able to chose whether to take a ‘fantasy’ medication that would restore their memory at any cost,” he stated.
“It’s an opportunity that few people will ever have, and I saw it as a powerful way to share Ptolemy’s story.”
“It illustrates that these people still have importance and relevance despite having a condition, and they are humans who still need to be taken care of. As they [his relatives] died, I became even more driven to convey this story and get it out there. Additionally, make people realize that you cannot dismiss the people you loved since they are still present within that person.”
“Treat them with love and care, as if they were still a part of your life.”
“Additionally, it illustrates that even when individuals have weak communication abilities, their minds are still engaged and they are in a different mental environment. It is hoped that people will recognize how important it is to love and care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s actively.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, the majority of dementia types cannot be inherited or passed down through family members. However, there may be a hereditary component in less prevalent forms of the condition.
The most important determinant in Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is age. Because Alzheimer’s disease is so common in persons in their late 70s and 80s, having a parent or grandparent with the disease at this age does not increase your risk relative to the general population.
However, if someone with Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed at a younger age, there is a greater chance that they have a type of the disease that can be passed on.
Frontotemporal dementia is one of the dementia subtypes that can be passed down via families (FTD). Although the illness is unusual, it can be passed directly from parent to child, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Around 40% of patients with FTD have at least one close relative with dementia, even though most FTD is not inherited. Examples include FTD, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (sometimes known as motor neurone disease).
In general, the risk of developing “familial” FTD is “increased the greater the number of relatives who have had dementia, notably FTD or ALS.”
Jackson talked about his own health worries since he might inherit them. “Certainly,” he said. “Sometimes I can’t recall a name that I’m confident I know.”
“Or go into a room to get something and think to yourself, ‘Why am I here?’”
“So, do I think about it? Yes. Should I be concerned? I’m 73 … 74? 73… Take a look at that! On the other hand, my mother and grandfather had already gone through it. So I think I’m alright.”
Samuel L. Jackson has recently spoken up regarding his family’s health and himself. Jackson highlighted his initial interest in the Apple TV+ series as well as his personal fears of developing dementia in a 2022 project in which he portrays an elderly man suffering from dementia.