Terry PratchettWell, not the greatest of news for all the millions and millions (myself included) of Terry Pratchett fans worldwide. Last week he broke the news that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

To anyone who has had any family or friends fall to the scourge of Alzheimer’s, you’ll know that this is a really sad disease to watch as it slowly but unstoppably withdraws your loved one from the world, stripping them of all their memories and cognitive processes one by one.

Earlier this year Pratchett was diagnosed with a …phantom stroke’, and it seems that this condition was in fact the reason behind this incident. Of course, in usual Pratchett style, the man is pretty upbeat about it and in a statement dated 11 December 2007, he said:

“Frankly I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there’s time for at least a few more books yet.”

“PS – This should be interpreted as ‘I am not dead’. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this may be further off than you think – it’s too soon to tell.”

For those of you who don’t actually know who I am talking about just by the way, Terry Pratchett was Britain’s best selling author in the 1990s (stupid JK Rowling is probably the person responsible for surpassing his greatness) and has sold more than 45 million books in 33 languages. His seminal Discworld series is a satirical, fantasy based world which is most easily recognised by the fact that the world in question is in fact a flat round disc that rests on the backs of four giant elephants which are in turn supported by the giant turtle, Great A’Tuin. From this point onwards you just know the madness continues.

So we are given yet one more reason for scientists to hurry the hell up and find us a cure for Alzheimer’s post haste. As it is the damn disease is hereditary and tends to skip a generation – which means both my brother and I need to keep an eye out for anything that looks suspiciously like a cure, just in case we need it in the future.

Thanks Lotter genes :(

Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_pratchett