Former Dallas star Larry Hagman's wife is battling Alzheimer's disease, according to her brother.

Maj Axelsson, the former Dallas star's wife of 54 years, began displaying symptoms of the degenerative disease last year (08), and they have worsened significantly, reports the National Enquirer. Her diagnosis with the disease - which robs sufferers of their memory - has been confirmed by 81-year-old Axelsson's brother Shelley Greenhut.

A source tells the tabloid, "Larry is facing a spouse's worst nightmare. Maj is slipping away a little more each day. And it's heartbreaking for Larry because he is so absolutely devoted to her."

The insider reveals Hagman, 77, has refused to put his wife in a care home, and is insisting on looking after her himself, adding, "He won't leave her alone. His attitude is that Maj is a blessing. He says he's been able to fall in love with her all over again." (IG/NE/KL)

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