Alzheimer's disease

Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor withdraws from public life

Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman confirmed to the Court, announced in a letter on Tuesday that she is experiencing the "beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer's," and is "no longer able to participate in public life."

"While the final chapter of my life with dementia may be trying, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the countless blessings in my life. How fortunate I feel to be an American and to have been presented with the remarkable opportunities available to the citizens of our country. As a young cowgirl from the Arizona desert, I never could have imagined that one day I would become the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court."
— O'Connor

Senate approves bill dedicating $425 million to Alzheimer's research

Art therapy at a nursing home
A patient in a nursing home. Photo: BSIP/Getty Images

The Senate passed a bill dedicating an extra $425 million to Alzheimer's and dementia research on Thursday as part of an $854 billion measure dedicated to health, education and military operations, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Researchers have been trying to find a way to slow or halt the progressively degenerative disease for years, but there hasn't been a new drug approved to fight the disease by the Food and Drug Administration in 15 years. New federal funding could help generate a breakthrough. Go deeper: A snapshot of Alzheimer's.

More stories loading.