Oct 15, 2011

Alzheimer's aggression: disease triggers angry behavior

As I sped along the 10 Freeway toward a rapidly setting sun, an explosive grinding noise erupted to my right.

My car swerved wildly, sliding across two lanes toward the center divider. I grappled with the steering wheel trying to regain control and glanced quickly toward my dad, sitting next to me.

In the fading light, I could see what had caused the problem: He had grabbed the gearshift and jerked the car into neutral.

“Let go!” I screamed. For a moment, we tussled over the stick, then I pulled it from him, jamming the car back into gear. “You can't do that while I'm driving,” I yelled. I took a deep breath, trying to calm down, and turned on the dome light. “It's me, your daughter Rosemary,” I said quietly.

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