Did Bill Gates say $50 Million?

Bill Gates has recently donated to the Dementia Discovery Fund with the intent of expanding research on the brain and Alzheimer’s disease to lead to a cure.

Presently, the disease affects 5 million Americans, for which the government invests $259 billion to cover health care for those affected per year.

A growing health crisis: The projected number of people with dementia from 2015 to 2050, millions

“I first became interested in Alzheimer’s because of its costs—both emotional and economic—to families and healthcare systems. The financial burden of the disease is much easier to quantify. A person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition. Unlike those with many chronic diseases, people with Alzheimer’s incur long-term care costs as well as direct medical expenses. If you get the disease in your 60s or 70s, you might require expensive care for decades.”

Moreover, following Gates’s donation, the NFLPA also made a bountiful contribution. Their goal is a further study on the brain since their sport has an infamous correlation with brain trauma and concussions. They want to address the health of their players by using a “whole player, whole life” approach; this means that they want to not only study the trauma and diseases they may encounter now, but some they may encounter in the future, a paragon being Alzheimer’s.

These costs represent one of the fastest growing burdens on healthcare systems in developed countries. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Americans will spend $259 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2017. Absent a major breakthrough, expenditures will continue to squeeze healthcare budgets in the years and decades to come. This is something that governments all over the world need to be thinking about, including in low- and middle-income countries where life expectancies are catching up to the global average and the number of people with dementia is on the rise.

What are Bill Gates steps?

  • We need to better understand how Alzheimer’s unfolds. The brain is a complicated organ. Because it’s so difficult to study while patients are alive, we know very little about how it ages normally and how Alzheimer’s disrupts that process. Our understanding of what happens in the brain is based largely on autopsies, which show only the late stages of the disease and don’t explain many of its lingering mysteries. For example, we don’t fully understand why you are more likely to get Alzheimer’s if you’re African American or Latino than if you’re white. If we’re going to make progress, we need a better grasp on its underlying causes and biology.
  • We need to detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier. Since the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s definitively is through an autopsy after death, it’s difficult to identify the disease definitively early in its progression. Cognitive tests exist but often have a high variance. If you didn’t sleep well the night before, that might skew your results. A more reliable, affordable, and accessible diagnostic—such as a blood test—would make it easier to see how Alzheimer’s progresses and track how effective new drugs are.
  • We need more approaches to stopping the disease. There are many ways an Alzheimer’s drug might help prevent or slow down the disease. Most drug trials to date have targeted amyloid and tau, two proteins that cause plaques and tangles in the brain. I hope those approaches succeed, but we need to back scientists with different, less mainstream ideas in case they don’t. A more diverse drug pipeline increases our odds of discovering a breakthrough.
  • We need to make it easier to get people enrolled in clinical trials. The pace of innovation is partly determined by how quickly we can do clinical trials. Since we don’t yet have a good understanding of the disease or a reliable diagnostic, it’s difficult to find qualified people early enough in the disease’s progression willing to participate. It can sometimes take years to enroll enough patients. If we could develop a process to pre-qualify participants and create efficient registries, we could start new trials more quickly.
  • We need to use data better. Every time a pharmaceutical company or a research lab does a study, they gather lots of information. We should compile this data in a common form, so that we get a better sense of how the disease progresses, how that progression is determined by gender and age, and how genetics determines your likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s. This would make it easier for researchers to look for patterns and identify new pathways for treatment.

Tips for Traveling w/ Alzheimer’s

5 Travel Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Traveling with your loved one stricken with Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t necessarily have to be a thing of the past after diagnosis. The key to ensuring more quality leisure time with your loved while creating precious memories along the way comes with simple preparation, planning and safety. Employing this following guide will ensure an enjoyable and relaxing trip for everybody.

1: Be Realistic

It is important to think about how far advanced in the disease your loved may be. Are they still able to travel far from home, or is a simple day trip to a closer destination more reasonable? To what degree of physical mobility do they still have? Whatever will bring about the most pleasure possible is the main point to consider by a caregiver.

2: Be Safe

An Alzheimer’s patient who may find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings has a higher risk of wandering and getting lost. It is always a good idea to make sure that your loved one is with yourself or someone whom they’re familiar with at all times

3: Be Strategic 

Consider the time of day in which your loved one is at their best, and schedule your time of departure (car ride, air travel) during those hours. This prevents confusion and agitation that can arise when leaving home or where you’re staying.

4: Be a Communicator 

Providing a detailed itinerary to emergency contacts is the best way for others to keep tabs on you and your loved one, especially if your loved one is traveling alone. Notifying hotel and airline staff that the person you’re traveling with has Alzheimer’s disease is another good idea to ensure any helpful or necessary accommodation during your trip.

5: Be Prepared 

Aside from the necessities of remembering to bring along your loved one’s medications, it is also important to keep comfort items on-hand such as blankets, pillows, or their favorite coat in case he or she becomes anxious at some point while traveling. Keeping to a schedule and leaving for your destination within a reasonable amount of time reduces the stress experienced by your loved one that may come around in a case of rushing to catch your flight or dinner reservation.


Sponsor Spotlight: Premiere Research Institute

The founders of Premiere Research Institute have been conducting clinical research since 1983.  Premiere Research Institute has long been recognized as one of the leading clinical research institutions in the world.

Carl Sadowsky M.D., Paul Winner D.O. and Walter Martinez M.D. are dedicated to providing innovative solutions for patients with neurological disorders.  They have authored numerous articles in prestigious medical journals and have been recognized as “Best Doctors in America”.

As Principal Investigators they have over 75 years of combined clinical experience, and are on the cutting edge of new and exciting research programs.

Website: http://www.premiereresearchinstitute.com

Facebook: Premiere Research Institute

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PremiereResearchInst?feature=guide

Twitter: PalmBeachNeuro


Millennials And Caregiving: The New Era Part 2

By: Jehan Wilson

For the past few years, some have viewed millennials as an impulsive group of individuals that choose to chase after the trills of life by themselves rather than adopting a “family first” mentality like their Baby Booming predecessors. As a result, it has been implied as common knowledge that millennials first seek pursuing their own professional goals or personal dreams before they even consider starting a family of their own. Contributor Neil Howe of Forbes Magazine took an interesting approach on this topic, expressing that “millennials are unfamiliar with a broad range of life skills. They are less likely than older generations to know how to sew, make basic home repairs, or drive manual-transmission cars.” In his article entitled Millennials struggles to pass Life Skills 101”, Howe is critiquing the millennial’s ability to develop basic life skills because of their dependence to develop academic skills. Although, I believe it is safe to suggest that life skills can range from knowing how to simply sew or do care repairs to cook, clean, and care for family or friends that may be unable to.

The Alzheimer’s Media Insider (ALZ) conducted a very unique study on Caregiving in May of this year which results showcase Millennials in a new light that may cause Howe to second guess his notice that generation Y is lacking the skills for life. For instance, findings from the Alzheimer’s Association express that 85% of Millennials said being a primary caregiver for someone has positively changed their family relationship. Specifically, when it comes to caregivers committing to value and care for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Millennials are 35% more likely to feel this way than the average caregiver, 37% more likely than Generation Xers, and 64% more likely than Baby Boomers.  In addition, the findings during this ALZ study expressed that 47% of caregivers expressed developing a stronger relationship with the individual under their care”.

The experience of caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease is so rewarding for the millennial because the moments shared with that other person are one’s that only the millennial will remember. The value of these fleeting moments between an Alzheimer patient and their caregiver have the ability to shape a millennials future; Just take the testimony of 24 year old Brittany Williams for instance. On Blackdoctor.org, Williams shared her story of becoming the primary caregiver to her mother (who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer) and her four siblings. Expressing herself as “a woefully unprepared 24 year old tasked with organizing a cross-country move, providing full-time care to my mother, and toeing the line between big sister and parent her siblings”; Williams does her best to care for her family until her mother’s passing two years later. After the passing of her mother, Williams expressed “I deeply miss my mother but I have peace because I cared for her in the way that she cared for me. Worldwide, millennials are faced with the numerous challenges of being caregivers to those with Alzheimer’s disease and others alike. But even with those differences, one thing remains constant:  What we do with our time now contributes to who we will be in the future.

** For more Stats of the ALZ study on Millennials and Caregiving, review the findings at : http://preview.alz.org/media_105280.asp#millenials

** To Read about Brittany Williams and her process of caring for her mother, check out her story at: https://blackdoctor.org/514837/my-story-alzheimers-and-a-mothers-unforgettable-love/

Millennials And Caregiving: The New Era Part 1

By: Jehan Wilson

Millennials, often times referred to “as Generation Y or the Net Generation, are the demographic cohort that directly follows Generation X,” serve as the vocal point for the Summer 201 edition of the ALZ Media Insider.

Being a caregiver is a tremulous task that many people have to encounter throughout their lifetime. When it pertains to the world of Alzheimer’s, in which, there is currently no cure available; caregiving becomes the only alternative. One aspect that has changed over the years when it relates to caregiving is the age of the caregiver. Studies show that 85 percent of millennials said that being the primary caregiver to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia has positively changed their relations in their family.

While almost another half of millennials, approximately 47 percent believe that they developed a stronger relationship with the person they were caring for as well as gained a better understanding regarding how Alzheimer’s truly effects each individual differently.

Overall, to the millions of people suffering from Alzheimer’s across the country, caregivers serve as their “superheros” that allow them to continue their fight against Alzheimer’s until a cure is made.





Remembering Longtime Supporter and Donor, Theresa Esman

The Southeast Florida Chapter is saddened by the passing of Theresa Esman, a longtime supporter of our cause.  Since it’s inception in 2008, The Saul & Theresa Esman Foundation has donated close to $500,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association.  More recently, they funded a campaign in Miami targeting the Hispanic community to ensure that Spanish speaking members of South Florida can be aware of the services of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Executive Director Murray Levin, a personal friend of Theresa Esman’s, will continue to head the Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation and continue the legacy the Esman’s left behind.

He said, “She would want to be remembered as helping you [the Alzheimer’s Association] especially as her own younger sister is living with the disease to the point where she didn’t recognize her on the phone. The reason we went with the Alzheimer’s Association is because it is the premier organization confronting this disease.  She knew the Alzheimer’s Association is trying to slow it down and would often tell me how much she appreciated the wonderful work your organization does.”

The Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is one of the charitable organizations supported by the foundation since its start, and it remains one of the 14 organizations currently supported by the foundation.  Grace Grant-Brown, CFO of the Southeast Florida Chapter said, “The Alzheimer’s Association has lost a very dear friend and donor. Theresa Esman, through the Saul & Theresa Esman Foundation, contributed generously to our cause in pursuit of an end to Alzheimer’s disease. Through the foundation, she has left a lasting legacy that will continue to positively impact the lives of people in our community. We at the Alzheimer’s Association, extend our condolences to Murray Levin and the team at the Saul & Theresa Esman Foundation. Mrs. Esman will be sorely missed.”

Saul and Theresa Esman moved to south Florida in 1979 and began supporting local charities, funding research to fight various diseases. Theresa Esman founded the foundation in 2008 to carry on the couple’s legacy, impacting medical research in south Florida for many years to come.

Theresa Esman 1 Theresa Esman 3 Theresa Esman 2 (1)

Local chapter launches Young Professionals Group to change face of Alzheimer’s disease

By Jennifer Braisted

Brittany Carel was 13 years old when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Now a junior at Florida Atlantic University, Carel wants to use her personal experience with the debilitating disease to help educate the community and change the face of Alzheimer’s disease.

Carel and other young advocates are the reason why the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association are creating the Young Professionals Against Alzheimer’s group.

“ The purpose of this group is to end the stigma that Alzheimer’s is an older person’s disease,” said Jennifer Braisted, staff liaison for the group, “ We need to educate our community on this disease and help people realize that Alzheimer’s affects people of all ages.”

The Yong Professionals Against Alzheimer’s will consist of four main committees that focus on education, advocacy, fundraising and marketing.  The aim is to make sure that all young professionals are able to be fully immersed in our organization.

Invitation young professionals usableThe kick off for this group will be on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at Rythm and Vine in Fort Lauderdale. Membership is open to any young professional ages 18-40 who lives between Fort Pierce and Key West who has a passion for caring for those with Alzheimer’s and finding a cure.

“I am eager to see this group take off because at the end of the day, we are the generation that will end Alzheimer’s disease,”Braisted said.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Braisted at 561.967.0047 or jbraisted@alz.org

Local staffer gives updates from AAIC16

IMG_6875This week, more than 5,500 Alzheimer’s researchers and Alzheimer’s Association staff are in Toronto, Canada for the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. More than 20 researchers from Southeast Florida are attending and nine are presenting. Also in attendance is one of our very own staff, Micheal Pearson who is the Vice President of Programs and Public Policy. Micheal has been sending updates from the event each day. Check them out below.

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St. Anthony Catholic School students raise more than $1,000 for Alzheimer’s

(L to R) Amy Jones, Molly’s mom; Tom Jones, Molly’s father; Molly Jones; Corrie LeMay, Development Manager for the Boca and Broward Walks; and Mandy Cerrone, Molly’s 7th grade teacher pose at the Broward Alzheimer’s Association office.

When 7th grader Molly Jones was asked to think of a topic for an end of year service project at her school, she didn’t have to think long.

Molly’s grandmother, a former principal of her school, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s before Molly was born. She wanted to raise money for the cause and educate her classmates on the neuro-degenerative disease. She was surprised by all the support from her peers she received. She and her classmate Christian Mote lead the service project.

“Our classmates jumped on board,” she said.

Her service project group decided to do a “purple dress” day fundraiser for Alzheimer’s. Students were allowed to dress out of uniform and wear purple for a day for $5. Molly, Christian and their classmates went around the school collecting money from those who dressed in purple and explained to the classes what Alzheimer’s disease is.

Molly Jones and her teacher Mandy Cerrone present a check to Corrie LeMay at the Broward Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida office.

Molly expected the event to be successful but never expected it to raise more than $1,000. Her teacher was not surprised though.

“Molly was a great leader,” said Mandy Cerrone. “The students and I saw how passionate she was for this cause.”

The money raised will go to the Broward Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Jones and her family have been involved with the Broward Walk to End Alzheimer’s held in Hollywood for a couple years and plan to go every year. This year’s walk will be on Oct. 22 at Hollywood North Beach Park. Find out more about how you can get involved with your local walk by going to alz.org/walk. Find out more about Alzheimer’s and our programs at alz.org/seflorida or by calling our 24/7 Helpline number, 800.272.3900.