Alzheimer's disease has gained significance in movies, books as they bring out the real life incidents.
'Still Alice' is the story of an accomplished Columbia University linguistics professor who discovers that she has early onset Alzheimer's. The story was adapted from Lisa Genova's bestselling book, the tender and occasionally harrowing drama.
Julianne Moore plays the lead role and has interacted with patients, doctors, caretakers, family members of those affected with Alzheimer's to get a clear picture.
"I was really starting at zero," said Julianne Moore in a recent interview in Los Angeles.
"What was so compelling about the script was that it was the first time I had seen a disease like this depicted objectively. It's usually from the point of view of the caregiver or a family member who's watching someone transform in this way. This brings you inside this character and her journey through it," she said.
The actress received an Oscar nomination for her much acclaimed performance in the film, told co-directors and writers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland at the start that she didn't want to represent anything on screen that she hadn't actually seen.
Whether it's using a highlighter so as not to lose your place in the middle of a speech or self-administering a daily memory test on your iPhone, everything that Alice does in the movie is based on reality.
The actress took great lengths to immerse herself into the world of Alzheimer's through books and documentaries that she and Glatzer and Westmoreland would pass around to one another, but also by talking to clinicians, neurologists and, most importantly, actual patients.
Moore started at the national level, conducting Skype calls with patients who she was put in touch with through the Alzheimer's Association. She had a doctor administer an extensive cognitive test on her at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. She consulted with Gerontologists.