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InvestAcure Headliners

MaxTokarskyimageInvestAcure Founder and CEO Max Tokarsky will make a keynote presentation at the 14th World Summit on Alzheimer’s Disease in Boston on August 31st.  InvestAcure is building a spare change investment platform to help millions of people impacted by Alzheimer’s invest in companies working on a cure.

Dr. Pierre N. Tariot, MD, Director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, has joined the scientific advisory board of InvestAcure to provide guidance in both educational programming and in developing a strategic vision for advancing the development of treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

“Dr. Tariot is one of the world’s leading experts in translating cutting-edge science into treatment and cure.  Having him join our scientific team helps build a solid foundation for realizing the InvestAcure vision in the fight against this horrible disease,” said Max Tokarsky, the CEO and Founder of InvestAcure.

Dr. Tariot decided to join the InvestAcure effort because, “I have devoted my career to the care and study of people with or at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, and their families.  I witness the devastating toll that this disease takes on my patients as each one gradually loses his or her very identity and ability to function.  All the while, progress in developing promising treatments is slowed by difficulties in securing industry investment. ”

You will remember a previous article on this site introducing InvestAcure.  InvestAcure has developed an innovative plan that promises to fundamentally change that previous dynamic and help accelerate efforts to find new treatments so that yet another generation is not lost to this terrible disease.

 

About Pierre Tariot, MD

Dr. Tariot is the director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, one of the leading Alzheimer’s research centers in the world.  Over his long career he has led efforts in investigating the diagnosis, therapy, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, publishing over 350 papers on these topics.  Several of these studies have led to Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatments.

Together with his colleague Eric Reiman, he serves as co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, an NIH-funded international program to study experimental therapies that may delay or even prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in people at high imminent risk.  He is a Research Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona and a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.  His research affiliations include the NIA, the NIMH, and the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

About InvestAcure, PBC

InvestAcure is a Public Benefit Corporation with a vision to see a world where drug companies are owned by millions of spare change investors committed to curing Alzheimer’s.  To realize this goal, the company is building a spare change investment platform to enable those impacted by Alzheimer’s to partner in the search for a cure by rounding up day-to-day transactions and investing the spare change in clinical stage pharmaceuticals, working on promising drugs.  this would help transition investment leadership from a narrow group of profit-driven investors to a much larger and stable investor base motivated primarily by the search for a cure, leading to more clinical trials, more drugs and drug combinations tested and progress to a cure.

 

 

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One of the cruelest aspects of Alzheimer’s disease is the threat of losing personal dignity, pride, and place of being.  Many of us have had to witness a parent or mate experiencing this painful loss.

Kate Prior, writer/producer, and film director Abigail Greenwood are dedicated to telling women’s stories.  In “Theodora” the film writer is exploring a day in the life of Meredith, a 70-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s dementia.  Not just any day, but the day her family have come to take her to assisted care.

Film writer Kate Prior chooses to draw an analogy from an historical novel, Theodora:  Actress, Empress, Where  (the story taken from an empress of the Roman Empire around 500-548 A.D.) with 70-year-old present day Meredith.  Both women are struggling against their loss of independence.

Through this analogy we gain a more intimate view into what Meredith was going through emotionally as she was having to leave her home of 30-plus years.  And perhaps we will be able to understand a bit more deeply the impact of loss our loved ones experience.

To view the film, click here.

 

To access a recording of the August 8th, 2018 webinar, go to https://CureTalks.com. Scroll down to activate this recorded program.

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed I have spoken very infrequently about my father, who suffered from the age of 46 with frontotemperal dementia. I have deliberately refrained from talking about his extended illness because the memory of what he endured and its impact upon my family as we tried to be there for him still dredges up emotional pain.

Finally, 21 years following his death, I am ready to look a bit more objectively at frontotemperal dementia, seeking to better understand the differences between what my dad suffered from as opposed to the Alzheimer’s disease that my mother battled.

You are invited to join me on Wednesday, August 8th, at 3:00 Eastern Time, for a live, online discussion of FTD (frontotemperal dementia) and Alzheimer’s Disease, their similarities, differences, risk, diagnostic tests, progression stages, treatments, and clinical trials led by Dr. Murray Grossman and Dr. David Wolk, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

I have been requested to served as a panelist for this program.

This online talk show is sponsored by CureTalks.com. CureTalks features live talks on various health subjects relevant to a wide segment of our population. These talks feature a leading expert or experts in conversation with a panel and the audience.

You will be able to ask questions of the panelists LIVE on the talk by dialing in. To participate, go to CureTalks.com and click on View Details.

To hear the talk via phone or online, add your email when directed; and you will be sent Live Talk access details. You can also write your questions in the Comments/Questions section. Your question may then be selected to be featured on the talk. This program will last one hour.

Hoping my East Tennessee drawl does not put you off! Guess this will be our time to find out, won’t it!

A Bond We Share

If there is one thing I have learned over the past almost ten years of publishing Memories from My Life, it is that we caregivers throughout the world share a bond; we do all we possibly can for our loved ones. Oftentimes that care comes at great peril to our own health and well being.

Several weeks ago I received a letter from a young man from Ciudad Ojeda, Venezuela whose 63-year-old mother has been dealing with Alzheimer’s since 2010. He wrote that her condition has deteriorated over past months due to an inability to afford and obtain needed medication for her care. As you may be aware, the political and economic situation in Venezuela at this time is critical.

This young man, Adrian Pina, has established a fundraiser in honor of his mother. After weeks of deliberation over his situation, I am inviting you my readers to consider coming to his aid.

I was told that funds raised will be distributed as follows: 70 percent to the Alzheimer’s Association of Venezuela and 30 percent for his mother’s medications and treatment. Click here to contribute.

I want you to know about a courageous woman from Great Britain, Wendy Mitchell, who has written a book about her experiences living with early onset dementia.

Wendy Mitchell had a busy job with the British National Health Service, raised two daughters alone, and spent her weekends running and climbing mountains. Then, slowly, a mist settled deep inside the mind she once knew so well, blurring the world around her.

She didn’t know it then, but dementia was starting to take hold. In 2014 at age 58 she was diagnosed with early onset dementia. What lay ahead of her after the diagnosis was scary and unknowable, but Wendy was determined and resourceful, and she vowed to outwit the disease for as long as possible.

As she learned to embrace her new life, Wendy began to see her condition as a gift, a chance to experience the world with fresh eyes and to find her own way to make a difference. Even now, her sunny outlook persists: She devotes her time to educating doctors, caregivers, and other people living with dementia, helping to reduce the stigma surrounding this insidious disease.

Still living independently, Mitchell now uses Post-it notes and technology to remind her of her routines, and has created a ‘memory room’ where she displays photos – with labels – of her daughters, friends, and special places. It is a room where she feels calm and happy, especially on days when the mist descends.

This is what Wendy says about her writing:

“That it will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure — the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we’ve been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humor; we still have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day-to-day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. Living as well as you can with dementia is all about adapting. Adapting to new ways to enable us to live better for longer with dementia.

What I want is not sympathy; what I want is simply to raise awareness.

I’m the proud author of the Sunday Times Best Seller, “Somebody I Used to Know”, which just goes to show, you should never give up on yourself.

Wendy Mitchell’s book is a chronicle of one woman’s struggle to make sense of her shifting world and her mortality. “Somebody I Used to Know” is philosophical, poetic, intensely personal, and ultimately hopeful. It is both a tribute to the woman Wendy Mitchell used to be and a brave affirmation of the woman she has become.

Ballentine will publish this memoir in June to tie in with Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. “Somebody I Used to Know” was chosen as Amazon’s Pick Of The Month.

Brain health Is in Your Hands! That happens to be the message of neurologists Team Sherzai, Co-Directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, California, where they are working at the cutting edge of brain science.
Through their research and extensive collective medical backgrounds, Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai are proving that Alzheimer’s disease does not have to advance and that whole-body health is key to brain health.

Their article written expressly for Memories from My Life follows:

When we think about what real love is – the type that sustains a relationship beyond transient romance and Hallmark moments, we look no further than the numerous people we see in our clinics. These are the most dedicated, loving people who nurture their spouses, parents, or other loved ones under the most difficult of circumstances. They are caregivers, and their loved ones have dementia.
Marianne has been taking care of her husband Chet since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago. Her life has completely changed along with Chet’s. She manages almost every aspect of his life, from daily living skills to finances, from social engagements to meals. “He was always such an independent man; now he depends on me for almost everything. It’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He needs me now more than ever,” says Marianne with a stoic smile.

Watching a loved one lose shared experiences and memory is tough. One of the great values of memories, after all, is that they are shared. And when they are just yours, they lose some of their meaning. Typically a caregiver has to take on added responsibilities to the point where, like Marianne, they are managing every aspect of that loved one’s life. Caregivers can get overwhelmed to the point of losing their own identities, like the patients they are caring for lose theirs. Time for self-care, hobbies, and activities gets consumed with caregiving responsibilities. People with cognitive decline and dementia tend to withdraw socially, and this can lead to isolation and depression in both the patient and the caregiver.

The emotional toll is enormous. Not only is watching the decline of someone you love difficult in its own right, but there are other subconscious mechanisms at work. We are programmed to unconsciously imitate others in our environment. That doesn’t necessarily mean that caregivers copy the behavior of their failing patient, but it is likely that being around amnesia, incapacity, and disorientation will have an effect.

All these massive, competing demands are incredibly stressful, especially in the case of caregiver and spouse. It’s no surprise, therefore, that being a caretaker increases the risk of being diagnosed with dementia. One of the best studies on this topic was published in 2010. That longitudinal study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins, Utah, and Duke Universities followed more than 2,000 seniors and found that caregivers of spouses with dementia were 60 percent more likely to themselves be later diagnosed with dementia than those with spouses who had no such diagnosis.

Does stress account for these findings? Do the spouses share a common characteristic that might account for an increased risk of dementia for both of them? However you try to interpret the data, one thing is for sure. It’s hard to reconcile the evidence with a strictly genetic interpretation of the dementias.

While it is popular to believe that genetics are the major contributor to cognitive decline and dementias like Alzheimer’s, evidence is rapidly accumulating that lifestyle variables are very significantly related to the onset of the disease. One possibility for the increased risk for caregivers, therefore, is that spouses share lifestyle behaviors that encourage the development of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in both partners.

Our own work, as well as that of other researchers, which is summarized in our book, The Alzheimer’s Solution, strongly suggests that various lifestyle factors are clearly associated with dementia. It should be no surprise that the variables known to influence vascular health also impact brain health. The brain needs a good blood supply as much as, if not more than, every other part of the body.

The current nutrition data, for example, show a very strong tendency for the typical western diet consisting of high fats, fried foods, high dairy content, and especially high intake of sugar, to be associated with a greatly increased risk of dementia. Conversely, a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and a very low to non-existent intake of meat, dairy and sugars, is associated with a very significant reduction of dementia risk. The Mediterranean diet, as well as vegetarian and vegan diets, are those that seem to be related to a significantly decreased dementia risk.

There is also a mass of evidence suggesting that aerobic exercise confers significant protection against dementia and cognitive decline. Evidence is accumulating that resistance exercise can also provide protection. Regular exercise is associated with greater interconnectivity within the brain as well as an increase in brain-derived neurotropic factors (BDNF) that are associated with brain health.

Poor quality sleep is another variable associated with an increase in dementia. Apnea and other sleep-depriving conditions are also related to cognitive decline. We spend almost a third of our lives doing it, so sleep is important in many ways and critical to brain function. Sleep deprivation is bad for brain health, especially when it lends to the use, even overuse, of a variety of medications whose long-term use is itself likely to be detrimental.

Relaxation, enjoyment, and especially positive social engagement and activity are all related to better brain health. However, with failing mental capacities, people tend to withdraw from the very thing they need — social stimulation. Mental stimulation done in isolation, like doing crosswords or Sudoku puzzles, is probably less valuable than multi-domain integrated activities like social activities that also challenge the mind.

The demands of caregiving can lead to poor nutrition, less time and inclination to exercise, decreased quality sleep, stress, depression and social withdrawal, any of which are likely to enhance the risk of cognitive decline in caretakers.

The answer, of course, is not to abandon these brain-healthy behaviors. A caretaker ideally practices these behaviors and encourages and enables their loved one to do the same, despite their difficulties. There is some evidence that adopting brain-healthy behaviors even later in life might slow down the progression of the disease, something we have seen in our clinic.

Caretakers might then be the very definition of love, even though such nurturing puts themselves at greater risk for the disease. These people aren’t just caregivers; they are love givers.

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Team Sherzai’s Summer Brain & Body Challenge starts on June 5th! The Challenge, based on their NEURO (Nutrition, Exercise, Unwind, Restore and Optimize) Plan, will show you how to transform your brain and body health, have more energy, less brain fog, and feel empowered to solve your own health issues. For more information and to join The Challenge, go to http://teamsherzai.com/25-day-join/

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Drs. Sherzai are authors of the much acclaimed book, The Alzheimer’s Solution: A Breakthrough Program to Prevent and Reverse the Symptoms of Cognitive Decline at Every Age (October 2017). For more information, visit http://www.TeamSherzai.com.