Celebrity deaths in 2016 reveal genetic diseases that remain unconquered

American actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka The Chocolate Factory
American actor Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," was one of many celebrity deaths in 2016.

The year 2016 may be remembered for important medical advances, but a glance at the headlines also offers a grim reminder of the many diseases that remain unyielding adversaries for science.

Parkinson’s disease claimed tens of thousands of Americans, including former US Attorney General Janet Reno; Maurice White (founder of Earth, Wind & Fire); and, quite possibly, Muhammad Ali…Pancreatic cancer claimed the actor Alan Rickman, author Pat Conroy, and singer Sharon Jones. And former first lady Nancy Reagan was among the many who were felled by congestive heart failure.

Here are some other reminders of the hills medicine has yet to climb.

Gene Wilder, 83, Alzheimer’s disease

The beloved film star quietly carried his diagnosis for three years before his death in August. His family said he’d been reluctant to sadden young fans, especially, by publicly disclosing his condition…Earlier [in 2016], the Alzheimer’s community was crushed by the failure of yet another once-promising experimental treatment.

Gwen Ifill, 61, uterine cancer

Ifill, a pioneering journalist, was the first African-American woman to anchor a major news program…The most common form of uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, strikes around 60,000 women annually, and the death rate is roughly the same as it was in 1985.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: A year of lives lost to diseases science has yet to tame

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