News Headlines Article

Seeing What Isn’t There: Inside Alzheimer’s Hallucinations
National Public Radio

Greg O’Brien sees things that he knows aren’t there, and these visual disturbances are becoming more frequent. That’s not uncommon; up to 50 percent of people who have Alzheimer’s disease experience hallucinations, delusions or psychotic symptoms, recent research suggests.

At first, he just saw spider-like forms floating in his peripheral vision, O’Brien says. “They move in platoons.”

But in the last year or so, the hallucinations have been more varied, and often more disturbing. A lion. A bird. Sprays of blood among the spiders.  Over the past five months, O’Brien has turned on an audio recorder when the hallucinations start, in hopes of giving NPR listeners insight into what Alzheimer’s feels like.

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