Alzheimer's Patient Missing After Release From Jail

Frantic family members are searching for Mike Farrell, a 75-year-old California man who was released from Los Angeles County Jail early Tuesday morning but may not be mentally capable of finding his way home, according to the Los Angeles Times.

They say Farrell suffers from epilepsy and is also in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence, although family members say he doesn't drink and that he could have been suffering from a seizure.

His wife, P.J., said she's not sure her husband remembers phone numbers and that he may not be able to find his way home.

"If he's by himself, where's he going to go?" she said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, police say they took Farrell to County USC Medical Center because of his medical condition, but that he left the hospital before receiving treatment.

But Farrell’s sister said the hospital has no record of her brother having been there and that police never told the family he was being taken to a hospital.

Alzheimer's disease affects one in eight Americans over age 65 and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. So far there is no effective cure or treatment to slow the disease's progression.

Over the summer, The Huffington Post reported that Alzheimer's disease is fueling an increase in missing person cases worldwide and, without a cure, the problem could reach epidemic proportions by the year 2050.