"JEN! Jen! Jen!" Bewildered and confused, Jennifer Aniston’s ailing mom is crying out for her famous daughter, sparking fears she might be developing deadly Alzheimer’s disease, say sources.
Since two excruciating falls on Election Day, Nancy Dow, 76, has become increasingly disoriented and unsure of her surroundings, the sources add.
Nancy is said to be reaching out for her famous daughter even when she’s not there – and that has those close to her worrying that her behavior is an early sign of dementia.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said a family friend. “Her mom’s deterioration has been shocking, and Jen just wants to see her well again.”
Even though Jennifer and her mother have had a stormy relationship for years, including periods of estrangement, “Jennifer can’t bear to think of her mother having such a terrible, incurable disease,” confided the friend.
And Orlando, Fla.-based physician Dr. Gabe Mirkin told The ENQUIRER: “Alzheimer’s is ultimately a deadly disease. In fact, it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.”
Frail Nancy is still struggling from the effects of a stroke she suffered last year, which left her partially debilitated on her left side. And friends believe her recent falls may have worsened her condition.
As The ENQUIRER reported, the star’s mom took a terrible tumble on Nov. 6 while entering a North Hollywood polling station to cast her vote in the presidential election, then she fell again when she got home. She was admitted to Burbank Rehabilitation Center in great pain and was diagnosed with a hairline shoulder fracture.
“Now, she’s confused about what’s going on,” said the friend. “She even has trouble forming sentences.”
Divulged another insider: “The family is concerned she may have suffered a second stroke during the Election Day falls.
“The doctors are doing more tests, and there’s also a very real concern she may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. She slips into periods of confusion, at times doesn’t recognize people, and her short-term memory appears to be damaged.”
Loss of memory, the inability to recall names, places and things as well as the inability to structure sentences can all be early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, according to UCLA psychiatry professor Dr. Gary Small, a leading expert on the illness, who added: “So a thorough medical workup would be indicated.”
Concluded the friend: “It’s sad. It’s tough for the whole family.”