AlzU Blog

Maria Shriver & Lauren Miller Rogen Discuss why Alzheimer's is a Women's Issue

Maria Shriver is an American journalist, activist, author of six best-selling books, former First Lady of California, and the estranged wife of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Maria became active in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) after her father, Sgt. Shriver, passed away as a result of AD.  Maria has been very active in getting the word out to the public, that Alzheimer’s is predominately a women’s disease, and she wants to know why. Shriver’s blog says, “Every 66 seconds, a new brain develops Alzheimer’s, two-thirds belong to women and no one knows why.”

Recently, Lauren Miller Rogen (wife of the famous actor, Seth Rogen) interviewed Maria, the two discussed their shared experiences of having a parent with Alzheimer’s disease.

Women’s Health and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. AD is the ONLY cause of death in the top 10 in the U.S. that cannot be slowed down, prevented or cured.  Approximately half a million people die each year because they have AD.  Not only are women more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with AD.  In fact, over 3 in 5 unpaid AD caregivers are women.  AD caregivers are at high risk for many health problems and as they age, dementia caregivers have a higher risk (than women who have never been caregivers or those who are non-dementia caregivers) of getting Alzheimer’s themselves.

When it comes to women’s health, breast cancer is among the top concerns for many women these days.  But, what many people may not know is the fact that women are approximately twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease during their lifespan than breast cancer.  In fact, after age 65 AD is known to occur in 1 in 6 women.

For these reasons, women like Maria Shriver and Laura Miller Rogen are working diligently to raise awareness and help fund research for Alzheimer’s disease. 

Lauren Miller Rogen’s Story

Lauren tells the story of losing her grandfather at age 12, grandmother at age 18 and recently, finding out her mother (who was a caregiver to her own parents) was diagnosed with early AD at age 55.  Lauren goes on to talk about the losses her mother experienced and the strength and resilience of her family in the fight against AD. 

Because of her family history of AD, Lauren and her husband, Seth, started a non-profit to help get the younger generation involved in raising money for treatment and increasing awareness, in the fight against AD. The charity is called “Hilarity for Charity.” 

In the interview with Maria Shriver, Laura talked about her anger and bitterness surrounding her mom’s diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s Disease.  She went on to say that many good things have subsequently come of her experience with AD, such as meeting Maria Shriver.  “Maria has interviewed my husband and me a few times over the years about our Alzheimer’s awareness movement, Hilarity for Charity, and rudely, I’ve never interviewed her! Fortunately, a few weeks ago, I got to turn the tables on her,” said Miller.  Read more about Laura’s story and the interview with Maria Shriver by CLICKING HERE.

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