Maureen McGovern Reveals Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease: 'My Inner Life Has Not Changed'

"It certainly is not going to keep me from living my life," singer Maureen McGovern said in a statement revealing her diagnosis with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and symptoms of Alzheimer's

Maureen McGovern is bravely facing a potentially devastating diagnosis.

The Grammy Award nominee, 73, announced that she's been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and is showing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in an emotional, yet optimistic statement on Facebook and her website Friday.

"What I do, or what I am still able to accomplish, has changed. I can no longer travel or perform in live concerts. In fact, I can no longer drive — how's that for a kick in the butt?" McGovern wrote.

PCA is described as a degenerative neurological syndrome that causes difficulty with eyesight and processing visual information, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition can also cause cognitive decline over time.

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"Of course, it's a challenge, but it certainly is not going to keep me from living my life. At first, I began having trouble finding, in my brain, the words I wanted to say," McGovern said. "I struggled with the inevitable shock with fear and frankly hopelessness."

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Actress/ singer Maureen McGovern poses for a photo backstage following her performance at 54 Below on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for 54 Below)
Cindy Ord/Getty for 54 Below

"But slowly I realized that my inner life has not changed. My passion for music, for singing, remains profoundly robust," she continued. "To me, music is a language that expresses what often cannot be said with just words – it elevates, expands, and heals – brings joy and comfort and can eliminate barriers by creating meaningful experiences. So, accepting this new stage in my life, I began to embrace what I have and let it be."

McGovern explained that she plans to continue singing and writing songs for children, in addition to raising awareness for music therapy.

"We are all patients and caregivers at some time in our lives. I have experienced how music and the arts free our spirits and opens our hearts to our common humanity," she said. "I hope you will continue to join me on these next endeavors."

UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 03: Photo of Maureen McGovern. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

After starting out in folk music, McGovern was tapped to sing "The Morning After," the theme song from 1972's The Poseidon Adventure, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was certified gold by the R.I.A.A. The song's popularity also earned McGovern a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist in 1974.

McGovern sang one other song that won the Best Original Song Oscar: "We May Never Love Like This Again," which she performed onscreen in 1974's The Towering Inferno. She was also the singer of "Wherever Love Takes Me," which was nominated for Best Original Song the same year, from Gold.

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