Friday is the third and final day of the Women in the World summit in New York City, where celebrities and experts in assorted fields gathered to discuss an array of topics.
One of these sessions was titled “New Frontiers in Brain Health”, and looked at the startling statistic that women are twice as likely as men to get Alzheimer’s.
In addition to moderator Deborah Roberts of ABC News and Roberta Diaz Brinton, director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science, the panel also included actor Bryan Cranston, who discussed his mother’s dementia.
“I was starting to get a little irritated that she was forgetting things because I just assumed that she wasn’t writing things down or just being careless,” he explained of when he first began realizing her mental acuity was slipping.
“It wasn’t until we were going to lunch one day and she was getting dressed, and she was taking a very long time,” the former “Breaking Bad” star continued. “She said she was trying to get on her blouse, and I asked if she needed help, and when I opened the door she was trying to put her pants on as her shirt. It was at that point that I knew something was drastically wrong.”
Cranston also revealed that his mother hooked up with a fellow patient in the Alzheimer’s ward. “I got a call from the nurse practitioner saying, ‘Your mother’s fine, but she has developed a relationship with another Alzheimer’s patient in the ward.’ And my mother has always been like a Blanche DuBois [of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’]. She befriended a man named Albert who was an actor as well, and they hit it off and they became romantically involved,” he said.
“They have consummated their relationship,” Cranston added. “And I said to the nurse practitioner, ‘Is it like ‘Groundhog Day’?’ And she said, ‘In some way it is.’ And there’s a familiarization — it’s like hello, and by the afternoon they’re embraced, and then they go to their separate rooms and they start over again.”
Cranston being Cranston, there was no way he could end that anecdote without a joke.
“I had one concern,” he quipped. “What if she gets pregnant?”