AlzU Blog

Panel Discussion on Alzheimer's Disease and Exercise Featured on The Today Show

On June 4th a panel of brain health experts convened at the Equinox Sports Club in New York City to honor the Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and address questions for participants of the Move for Minds event.  The second annual Move for Minds event was hosted by Maria Shriver’s non-profit organization, “The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.” 

The panel served as the educational component of the Move for Minds event at its New York City location, aimed at increasing awareness of the disease, and raising funds to support The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  Learn more about the event by clicking here

Television news anchor and TV host known as the co-host of NBC’s Today Show, Hoda Kotb, interviewed the group of panel experts including:

Dr. Wendy Suzuki, Professor of Neural Science and Psychology, Center for Neural Science at New York University.  Dr. Suzuki specializes in research on brain plasticity (the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience).  Most recently her work has focused on understanding how exercise can improve memory and cognitive function.  Dr. Suzuki discussed the physiology of exercise and brain health and talked about which type of exercise is the best for overall brain health.

Max Lugavere is a television personality, producer, filmmaker, and musician as well as a director of an upcoming documentary titled Bread Head, which explores the impact of diet and lifestyle on brain health. He’s become a leading voice in health and fitness.  On the panel of brain health experts, Lugavere talked about the relationship between the gut and brain health, and how the gut influences inflammation. 

Richard S. Isaacson, M.D., serves as Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.  Isaacson was asked by interviewer Hoda Kotb to discuss recent developments in the research of Alzheimer’s disease in women.  Isaacson responded that hormone changes during menopause may be one likely culprit when it comes to the reason more women are affected by AD than men.  He commented that in the future, the diagnosis of AD will be moving toward precision medicine, where each person will be treated as an individual.  Perhaps some women will require hormone replacement, and others won’t.  It depends on genetics and biology, and those factors will be evaluated to design an individualized plan of treatment for women with AD, says Isaacson. 

Dr. Anafidelia Tavares, Director of Programs at the New York chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, leads the delivery of care and supportive services throughout all 5 boroughs of the city.  She sees to it that education and accessibility to programs (such as support groups for AD) is accessible to the community.  Dr. Tavares also directs clinician outreach and education initiatives, to meet the needs of diverse communities and underserved populations living in New York City.  During the panel interview, Tavares stressed the importance of socialization for people with AD.

Jay Newton-Small is a journalist and the co-founder of “Memory Well.” While helping her father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she felt there was a need to share the stories of those affected by the disease. Memory Well helps families share stories and pictures about their loved ones with AD.  During the panel interview, Newton-Small shared her personal experience as a daughter and later a caregiver for her father who was diagnosed with AD.

Dr. Isaacson reiterated that genes are NOT necessarily the driving force when it comes to getting diagnosed with AD and that many prevention modalities are more effective in those who have a specific gene for AD, than in those who don’t.

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Click below to view the video of the New York panel of brain health experts on Maria Shriver’s Facebook page.

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As Seen On:

The Today Show

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