One of the stars of the original “Star Trek” television series has been diagnosed with dementia. Nichelle Nichols, known for playing Lt. Uhura in the series, has “moderate progressive dementia,” TMZ reports, citing Nichols’ conservatorship documents.
The report notes that the disease has progressed. Nichols is 85.
The documents indicate that Dr. Meena Makhijani, a specialist in osteopathic medicine, has been treating Nichols for the past two to three years, TMZ reports.
“Makhijani gives details of the severity of the disease by rating various cognitive functions,” TMZ reports. “Most alarming … she says Nichols has major impairment of her short-term memory and moderate impairment of understanding abstract concepts, sense of time, place and immediate recall.”
The report adds: “On the bright side, the doctor says there’s no apparent impairment for things like long-term memory, orientation of her body, comprehension, verbal communication, concentration, recognition of familiar people, as well as ability to reason logically and plan actions.”
The report notes that Nichols’ son recently had four fiduciaries assigned to her as conservators to prevent her from being taken advantage of by people around her.
Here’s a clip from Smithsonian Channel with Nichols and others talking about the impact of the Uhura character …