What Was Glen Campbell Cause of Death? What Disease Does He Have?

Glen Campbell, the country-pop singer-guitarist who had a string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, such as “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, died on August 8, 2017, at the age of 81.

He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and his final years were documented in the award-winning film I’ll Be Me. But how did Alzheimer’s disease lead to his death, and what are the complications of this progressive brain disorder?

Who Was Glen Campbell?

Glen Campbell was a country-pop singer-guitarist who had 21 Top 40 hits, including “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” He also had a successful career as a studio musician, TV host, and actor. He sold over 45 million records and won six Grammy Awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

What Was Glen Campbell’s Cause of Death?

Glen Campbell died on August 8, 2017, at the age of 81, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He had been diagnosed with the disease in 2011 and announced his retirement from music shortly after. He embarked on a farewell tour that lasted until 2012 and released his final album, Adiós, in 2017.

On the 6th anniversary of his passing, we remember and cherish the wonderful singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Glen Campbell:

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is caused by abnormal protein deposits called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that build up in the brain and damage brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is more prevalent among older adults, especially those over 65 years old, but it can also affect younger people.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and the symptoms worsen over time. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is about four to eight years, but some people may live longer or shorter depending on various factors. The stages of Alzheimer’s disease are usually divided into mild, moderate, and severe, based on the degree of cognitive and functional impairment.

How Did Alzheimer’s Disease Affect Glen Campbell?

Glen Campbell announced his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in June 2011, at the age of 75. He decided to retire from music and embark on a farewell tour that lasted until 2012. He performed 151 shows across the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe, with the help of his family members and teleprompters. He also recorded his final album, Adiós, which was released in 2017.

The famous country music star Glen Campbell, who was told he had Alzheimer’s disease in 2011:

Campbell’s condition deteriorated over the years, and he moved to a specialized care facility in Nashville in 2014. He lost his ability to speak and recognize his loved ones and became bedridden and dependent on others for his basic needs. He also suffered from seizures and infections.

According to TMZ, Campbell died from complications owing to Alzheimer’s disease on August 8, 2017. His family issued a statement saying: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.”

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What Are the Common Complications of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease not only affects the brain but also has an impact on the body. People with Alzheimer’s disease may experience various complications that can lead to death, such as:

  • Infections: People with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty swallowing, and they may inhale food or liquids into their lungs, which can result in aspiration pneumonia. Pneumonia is listed as the cause of death in as many as two-thirds of deaths of patients with dementia. People with Alzheimer’s disease may also have a weakened immune system due to weight loss and other factors, which makes them more susceptible to infections such as urinary tract infections or sepsis.
  • Blood clots: People with Alzheimer’s disease may become bedridden or immobile, which can increase their risk of developing blood clots in their legs or lungs. These clots can block the blood flow and cause tissue damage or organ failure. Blood clots are a common cause of death among elderly people.
  • Falls and injuries: People with Alzheimer’s disease may have problems with balance, coordination, and vision, which can make them prone to falls and injuries. Falls can result in fractures, head trauma, or internal bleeding. Injuries can also cause pain, infection, or inflammation.
  • Malnutrition and dehydration: People with Alzheimer’s disease may lose their appetite or forget to eat or drink. They may also have difficulty chewing or swallowing food or liquids. This can lead to malnutrition and dehydration, which can affect their overall health and well-being. Malnutrition and dehydration can cause weight loss, muscle wasting, weakness, fatigue, confusion, or organ failure.

How Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented or Treated?

There is no definitive way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but some lifestyle factors may reduce the risk or delay the onset of symptoms. These include:

  • Keeping the brain active: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, learning new skills or playing games can help maintain cognitive function and prevent cognitive decline.
  • Keeping the body healthy: Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol, and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or cholesterol can help improve blood flow to the brain and prevent vascular damage.
  • Keeping the social network strong: Having meaningful social interactions and relationships with family, friends or community can help reduce stress, depression, and isolation, and enhance emotional and mental well-being.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but some treatments can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients and caregivers. These include:

  • Medications: There are several drugs that can help treat some of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as memory loss, confusion, agitation, or depression. These drugs include cholinesterase inhibitors (such as donepezil, rivastigmine, or galantamine) and memantine. However, these drugs are not effective for everyone, and they may have side effects or interactions with other medications.
  • Non-drug therapies: There are various non-drug therapies that can help address some of the psychological and emotional aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, such as music therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, or pet therapy. These therapies can help stimulate the senses, evoke memories, reduce anxiety, or enhance mood.
  • Caregiver support: Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging and stressful. Caregivers need to have access to information, resources, and services that can help them cope with the physical, emotional, and financial demands of caregiving. They also need to take care of their own health and well-being and seek help from others when needed.


Glen Campbell was a country music icon who touched millions of fans with his songs and his courage. He died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating brain disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, but there are ways to prevent, treat, and cope with the condition. By raising awareness and supporting research, we can hope to find a better solution for this disease in the future.


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