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Revealed, Etta James Fights Alzheimer's Disease

February 2, 2010, 8:15 am GMT

Aside from Etta James' urinary tract infection and painkillers dependency, her son opens up that his singer mother has been battling against Alzheimer's in secret for more than a year.

Etta James

Singing legend Etta James has been secretly battling Alzheimer's Disease for more than a year, her son has revealed. The 72-year-old R&B star was admitted to the Riverside Community Hospital in southern California a week ago, January 29, 2010, with a suspected urinary tract infection. At the time, Donto James revealed his mother had been treated earlier this year for a dependency on painkillers and over-the-counter medication.

He now tells CNN the singer was diagnosed with Alzheimer's over a year ago and has battled it in secret ever since. Donto, who plays in his mother's band, reveals the ailing "At Last" singer is suffering from speech difficulties, and has contracted the potentially-deadly MRSA virus since first undergoing treatment.

The worried musician says, "I am going to end up losing my mother if it keeps going on like this. There has to be another doctor out there who can tell me what is going on with my mother." But he remains confident she can bounce back, saying, "I want my mother back onstage again. I know it can happen."

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