Former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne has overcome a series of health problems but now faces a new challenge after a DNA test revealed she carries some of the genes responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, The Mirror said.
The 62-year-old wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne has spoken for the first time about how a recent genome test revealed she has two of the four genes responsible for the debilitating form of dementia, the report said.
“Ozzy and I had these tests done at a university in England, and the results took three months to come back. They test every single cell, chromosome and gene in your body; it’s like a DNA test but a million times more sophisticated”, she said.
“The results showed I have two of the four genes that give it to you. They’re not the two major genes, but they’re still there and I have them”, Osbourne said.
She knows first-hand what Alzheimer’s can do, because in the last years of his life, before he died in 2007 at the age of 81, Sharon’s music mogul father Don Arden suffered from the disease, The Mirror said.
“I was terrified because my dad died from Alzheimer’s, ” she said. “It is the most soul-destroying disease. To see someone you love come down with it… it’s wicked, it really is.”
“There is nothing I can do to prevent it, nothing. People say to take cod liver oil and do puzzles and things, but then I look at people diagnosed with dementia. My father was super-active mentally, and take Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan… they were all so active, and that’s what really frightens me.”
She’s already seen enough doctors to last her a lifetime. In 2002, Sharon was diagnosed with colon cancer which later spread to her lymph nodes. Overcoming the odds of a 33% survival prognosis, surgery and an eight-month course of chemotherapy proved successful, The Mirror said.
Then, more recently, the results of the same genome tests showed she was also at risk from breast cancer, one of the factors in her decision to undergo a double mastectomy in 2012. That, and a leaking breast implant which proved to be the final straw in her quest for beauty perfection; she has publicly vowed never to go under the surgeon’s knife again, the report said.
Doctors also made another interesting discovery – there was a medical reason for a long-running battle with depression: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, The Mirror said.
“They found so much stuff with me, it’s ridiculous. Apparently I’ve got the gene for SAD – when people live in a climate where it’s grey and the sun doesn’t shine. I have that”, she said.
Despite a life of drinking, taking drugs and bat head-eating, her husband of 32 years has emerged relatively unscathed. Ironically, though, 66-year-old Ozzy is allergic to booze, the report said.
“They originally offered the test to Ozzy because they couldn’t believe he was still alive after all he’d been through. They wanted to use him as an experiment. So Ozzy had it done and, unbelievably, he came out so clean. He came out allergic to alcohol, coffee and dust. Dust! He is so healthy, it’s ridiculous”, she said.