Category Archives: Brain Health

Media release 2: DAI rationale for service changes

DAI e-News April 2022
Detailed explanation of service changes

Dear colleagues and friends,

Further to our recent announcement of the changes in DAI, we wish to share the following more detailed explanation of why it became necessary to suspend so many of the DAI member services as well provide some history for context. Looking back has been essential to moving forward.

Most reading this will know that Dementia Alliance International (DAI) was founded on 1 January 2014 by eight people diagnosed with dementia, all with a dream to provide support for other people living with dementia, and to advocate for others with dementia to live more positively, for better services and support, and for our rights.

The eight founding members hailed from three countries with a collective dream for an international organization being a group ‘of, by and for’ people with dementia.

Exemplifying the nothing about us without us philosophy as the founders had all recognized that people with dementia did not truly have a voice having had it taken away by the stigma and discrimination of dementia. Their dream was to advocate for the autonomy and rights of all people living with dementia.

People with dementia have a human right to self-determination and full inclusion in society (not to be isolated, discriminated against, or segregated from society).

Peer to peer support for people with dementia

The founders learned there was no organization with this shared belief among thousands of organizations whose leadership and missions were all about research for a cure or supporting the carer and that those organizations rarely included persons living with dementia in their governing ranks or in their mission statements. It’s as if people with dementia didn’t exist, except when used as fund raising tools.

Even support groups for persons living with dementia required the participation of a family member or care partner and the conversation was dominated by the one without dementia. We knew persons living with dementia needed and deserved a safe and private place to participate in peer-to-peer support.

We knew this methodology was valid as Alcoholics Anonymous had already proven it works. Many had already been meeting online to support each other and it is that camaraderie and self-determination and the growth of a collective global advocacy that gave birth to Dementia Alliance International, an organization founded and led only by and for persons living with dementia across the globe.

For many years, people with dementia had been promised funding for a global group, as far back as the late 1990’s, when Christine Bryden and others founded the Dementia Advocacy Support Network International (DASNI). The late Dr. Richard Taylor had also been promised the same thing many times but as it was never forthcoming, hence the founders of DAI decided to set it up, as well as fund it and run it themselves.

DAI has always had to fight hard for anyone to support us, and then, it has never been more than piece-meal funding. Typically, just enough to set boundaries on our advocacy.

The Board and many of our members believe the best work that DAI has done is to provide peer to peer support, which in turn has empowered more newly diagnosed people to get back to living.

DAI was using Zoom long before the COVID pandemic; it started the first online peer to peer support group for people with dementia in the world, which continues today, and DAI still hosts the only living alone peer to peer support groups that we know of, in the world.

DAI’s global support for, and advocacy and representation of people living with dementia has been significant and ground-breaking, and we know we have much to be proud of.

Our members continue to report that our peer-to-peer support groups are an amazing, life-giving steppingstone for people more newly diagnosed with dementia to ‘get back to living’. This is truly powerful work, that even in times of covid, no other organisations yet do.

However, it appears to DAI that many people without dementia do not fully support our organisation. We base these assumptions on the actions and attitudes of others, and because so few people or organisations support DAI, promote DAI, partner with DAI, or donate to DAI.

In fact, pre covid, when zoom webinars being hosted by other organisations were rare, DAI tried a few times to add a small registration fee to their monthly webinars to help with financial sustainability.

Shockingly, a great many people in paid employment, including staff members of dementia charities, falsely registered as DAI members, to avoid the fee.

The other truth that DAI has had to face, especially members of DAI who are not active advocates with their national charities, is they are still fighting for Article 19 of the CRPD.

Inclusion is too often still missing, and it continues to be ‘about us, without us’.

For these and a numer of other reasons as outlined below, DAI had no choice but to reassess its future direction and services.

International dementia advocacy requires significant leadership, statesmanship and organizational skills as well as public speaking skills and knowledge of not only of the lived experience of dementia, but of policy, human rights and so on. Just being diagnosed with dementia, doesn’t provide these skills and thus there is a limited pool of talent to draw on. DAI has found it difficult to retain people in our membership with a passion for advocacy, who have the required skills and are willing to serve DAI, as they are often approached by the charities, researchers, and other organisations to get involved with their work.

This leaves DAI ‘dry’ and returning to square one repeatedly having to find and train new members to do the work. Even when DAI is actively working with others, it is mostly without renumeration to, or recognition of DAI or its membership.

DAI has faced some unique and difficult challenges 

Firstly, all DAI members live with dementia, and whilst they are often willing to volunteer, they also have significant time and financial constraints as they tackle the daily challenges of living with dementia, and the lack of post diagnostic support. Beyond that, DAI has faced many other significant difficulties.

  1. Other charities, organisations, researchers, start-ups, and individuals are constantly inviting DAI members to work with their organisations, which then means DAI has had difficulty retaining members to support their own organisation.
  2. Furthermore, other organisations usually have significantly more funding than DAI, and are therefore able to provide paid staff to support their volunteer self-advocates, making it even more difficult for DAI to retain active members.
  3. DAI has increasingly been asked over the last 8+ years to support researchers, individuals, and organisations with their grant applications, to promote their projects and surveys, but then not appropriately included in the work.
    • DAI is very rarely funded in the projects,
    • DAI is rarely included in the activities or focus groups projects, and instead of working with DAI, researchers go to the national dementia charities and their dementia working or advisory groups.
    • DAI is rarely referred to as an organisation for people with dementia, in the research outcomes, yet
    • DAI is expected to promote the surveys and other project activities.
  4. Since mid 2015, DAI has been thrilled to have the support and funding of strategic partners and other donations to fund its operations.
    • In mid 2015, ADI became DAI’s first strategic partner
    • In November 2018, Dementia Australia became a major donor; the following year, DA became our second strategic partner
    • Both partners currently provide $20,000 USD per year
    • DAI receives very few other donations.
  5. Clearly however, this means we have insufficient strategic partners and donors to remain sustainable in our current format, let alone have access to financial resources that can be used to hire paid staff to support our organisation.
  6. The lack of adequate funding has always been a major issue limiting available technologies, marketing materials and staffing.
    • Therefore DAI has had no choice but to modify its structure and services.
  7. We have been well supported by our non-member volunteers, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteer staff who have the time, or that don’t have an unconscious biases impacting their ability to work within the ‘nothing about us, without us’ philosophy, or hidden personal agendas which we do not fit with DAI’s vision or mission.
  8. Inclusion of DAI members by individuals and other organisations continues to be tokenistic at best.
  9. Recognition of the disabilities caused by dementia and adequate reasonable adjustments and disability support are not provided making it difficult or impossible for persons living with dementia to participate fully or equally.
  10. Finally, whilst others appear publicly to support DAI, most do not want a truly autonomous voice in this very crowded space, notably, when we differ to the goals of other organisations.

Working with DAI in the future

Moving forward, DAI will fulfil any current commitments made to research projects or other projects and organisations. It will also continue to work with the WHO and UN, as it has over the last many years.

However, it will need to limit its involvement with individuals and other organisations in the future.

It is obvious that people with dementia continue to be the only people in the dementia sector who are not paid for their labour and expertise, and where others who get to meet our members, then want them to work with and promote their organisations, but with little or no reciprocity to DAI.

Therefore, DAI will soon release a policy for how individuals, start-ups, researchers, and all others will be able work with our organisation and our members, so that it is fair and equitable for everyone.

Although this has partially been outlined in the documents, Value to a sponsor partner or donor and Opportunities for researchers, partners sponsors and associates, both updated in 2018, it is apparent they are unclear.

Thank you

The board sincerely hopes this rationalization and suspension of four services is temporary, and that some will be reactivated in the future, and we thank you for supporting us as we streamline our operations to ensure our core activity, which is peer to peer member support is sustainable.

DAI’s incredible work and willingness to support and work with others, without reciprocity has been a major contributor to the need to make these very difficult decisions. Hence, we really hope that moving forward, the many organisations and individuals DAI has so actively promoted and supported for the last eight+ years, will consider reciprocating and partnering with us in the future.

“Nothing about us, without us.”

Cheryl Day
Acting Chair
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Dementia Alliance International (DAI)

DONATE TO OR PARTNER WITH DAI TODAY

Reminder: Effective immediately

DAI will continue to provide the following services:

  1. Free membership for people living with any type of dementia.
  2. Weekly Peer-to-peer support groups for DAI members (no cost to members).
  3. Provide member and data base communications via regular blogs on the website, not through e-news using MailChimp.
  4. Retain its charitable 501c3 status in the USA to allow for donations to continue.
  5. Retain its CPA to perform the annual financial reporting and required IRS related paperwork.
  6. Retain the award-winning DAI YouTube channel.
  7. Retain the DAI website, which is currently being updated.
  8. Retain the DAI branded Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter social media pages.
  9. Finally, the Environmental Design Special Interest Group (ED-SiG) will continue to be led by Emily Ong, from Singapore

DAI Human Rights Advocacy

The global human rights work we currently do will continue, although DAI will need to fund an external partner or expert for this work to continue. Kate Swaffer will continue in her role as interim human rights advisor until the AGM in June, while the board decides on its long-term future direction. DAI will continue to work with the WHO and UN, will retain its ECOSOC status at the United Nations, and its Observer status with the International Disability Alliance.

DAI is suspending the following services until further notice:

  1. Monthly “Meeting Of the Minds” Webinars
  2. Monthly virtual Cafe Le Brain
  3. Twice monthly Brain Health Hub Zoom Meetings
  4. The annual WRAD event

Furthermore, to reduce costs, DAI will cease the monthly newsletter and other mailings, and blogs on the DAI website will be used to communicate to members instead. We hope the increased activity on our social media pages will fill any potential communication gaps.

Please note therefore, that all future official and other communications will be through the website as a blog; this mean you need you to subscribe to them to receive our news and any other communications. 

Note: we sometimes use voice recognition software for correspondence​ and newsletters; ​​hence there may be some grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, for which we thank you for your understanding.

Media Release: DAI to suspend some free services

Dear friends and colleagues,

The DAI Board met at a special board meeting on March 25/26, 2022 as we saw the need for a thorough internal review of our services.  This was brought about by the identified strained resources we have, to support the current operations.

We certainly appreciate the unusual world we are living in at the moment and DAI, like many other Not For Profit and Charitable organisations are competing for volunteers and funding to remain viable and sustainable.

We assure you that the DAI Mission and Values were at the forefront of our thinking; and we value the volunteers and supporters around the world who continue to support us; thank you.

This media release is to advise you that following the review, the Board has made the very difficult, but necessary decision to reduce the current services provided by DAI until further review. Our hope, is that we can build up our volunteer base once again and continue to provide amazing resources to ensure “Nothing about us, without us.”

The priority of the special board meeting was to discuss the following two options about the services, sustainability, and future of DAI.

OPTION 1:

  • Wind up the affairs of DAI, and
  • Cancel charity status and disperse funds.

OPTION 2:

  • Revert to peer-to-peer support groups only,
  • Drop all other work, including e-newsletters, webinars, cafe le brain, and brain health hub meetings,
  • Replace newsletters with more activity on social media, and
  • Stop or scale back blog posts.

Following this meeting, the board has unanimously made the following decisions.

Effective immediately, DAI will continue to provide the following services:

  1. Free membership for people living with any type of dementia.
  2. Weekly Peer-to-peer support groups for DAI members (no cost to members).
  3. Provide member and data base communications via regular blogs on the website, rather than through e-news using MailChimp.
  4. Retain its charitable 501c3 status in the USA to allow for donations to continue.
  5. Retain its registered accountant to perform the annual financial reporting and required IRS related paperwork.
  6. Retain the award-winning DAI YouTube channel.
  7. Retain the DAI website, which is currently being updated.
  8. Retain the DAI branded Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter social media pages.
  9. Finally, the Environmental Design Special Interest Group (ED-SiG) will continue to be led by Emily Ong, from Singapore

Effective immediately, DAI is suspending the following services until further notice:

  1. Monthly “Meeting Of the Minds” Webinars.
  2. Monthly Cafe Le Brain.
  3. Twice monthly Brain Health Hub Zoom Meetings.
  4. Annual World Rocks Against Dementia (WRAD) event.

We looked at a number of ways to work ‘smarter’ so we can continue to provide the same level of communications, but in a different way and came up with these options.

To reduce costs, DAI will cease the monthly newsletter and other mailings, which will be replaced entirely by blogs on the DAI website to communicate to everyone, including members. We hope increased activity on DAI social media will help fill any potential communication gaps.

Please note therefore, that all future official e-news and other communications will be through the website as a blog, which will mean you need to subscribe to them to receive our news and other communications.

The global human rights work we currently do will continue, although DAI will need to fund an external partner or expert for this work to continue. Kate Swaffer will continue in her role as interim human rights advisor until the AGM in June 2022, while the board decides on its long-term future direction. DAI will also retain its ECOSOC status at the United Nations, and Observer status with the International Disability Alliance.

Detailed below is a brief explanation of why DAI has been forced to face these changes, due primarily to the following set of unique and difficult challenges.

  1. DAI members who all live with dementia are often willing to volunteer, but also have significant time constraints as they are also tackle tackling the daily challenges of living with dementia.
  2. Significant demand on volunteers around the world.
  3. DAI has been asked and had the opportunity many times over the last 8 years to support researchers, individuals, and organisations with their grant applications; we are working on being appropriately included in the work and funded in the projects.

Since mid 2015, DAI has depended on strategic partners and donations to fund its operations; before that, board members self funded it.

We are very grateful that in mid 2015, ADI became DAI’s first strategic partner. In November 2018, Dementia Australia became a major donor; the following year, DA became our second strategic partner.

It takes time to build up strategic partners and donors to remain sustainable in our current format, and to have paid staff and financial resources that can be used to hire additional staff to support our organisation.

Unfortunately, the lack of adequate funding has always been a major issue limiting available technologies, marketing materials and staffing.

The board sincerely hopes that these changes are temporary, and that some of our services will be reactivated in the future.

DAI continues to be an amazing, life-giving organisation that provides a steppingstone for people more newly diagnosed with dementia to ‘get back to living’, which is truly powerful work, and we will continue to do this.

We thank you in anticipation of your support us as we streamline our operations to ensure our core activity continues, which is to ensure peer to peer member support is always sustainable.

Finally, we will send another email later this week, with a more detailed explanation of why these changes have had to be made at this time.

“Nothing about us, without us.”

Yours sincerely,

Cheryl and Alister

Cheryl Day/Alister Robertson
Acting Chair/Chair (on leave)
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Dementia Alliance International

Research Wrap: Brain health and Physical activity


We thank Laura Garcia Diaz for our February research blog, focused on the impact of physical activity and brain health.

Let’s talk about brain health: Physical activity

By Laura Garcia Diaz

There is strong evidence that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making key lifestyle changes (Livingston et al., 2020), including being physically active.

Over the past decade, there has been an increased interest in understanding the impact of physical activity on cognition. In this blog, I will provide a high-level summary of recent research that has been conducted to help us understand the possible impact of physical activity on reducing the risk of cognitive decline (i.e., prevention) and on supporting people with dementia to live well (i.e., intervention).

Before reviewing some of the literature, it is important to define what I mean by “physical activity”. Physical activity refers to any type of body movement, including recreational or leisure-time physical activity, transportation (such as cycling or walking), occupational (such as lifting things at work), household chores (for example, vacuuming and folding the laundry), play, sports or planned exercise (World Health Organization, 2015). Thus, exercise is one type of physical activity, but it is not the only way in which we can be active throughout the day.

Across all age groups, the World Health Organization recommends participating in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity) (World Health Organization, 2015).

Although in this blog I will focus on the impact of physical activity on cognition, it is important to remember that physical activity can improve balance and mental health and reduce the risk of falls, thus it is recommended to participate in regular physical activity for overall well-being (Alty et al., 2020).

In 2020, Whitty and colleagues (2020) conducted a systematic review of lifestyle and psychosocial interventions that aimed to reduce cognitive decline in people at risk of dementia. In this study, a person was considered at risk of dementia if they were 50+ years old, or if they have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, or experienced subjective cognitive decline (i.e., the person reports experiencing cognitive decline, but has not been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or another condition). For exercise interventions, the authors found:

  • Very good evidence (known as “Grade A”) that participating in aerobic exercise at least twice a week, for 16 weeks or more, may have a positive effect on global cognition in people with and without mild cognitive impairment.
  • Very good evidence that participating in 1-3 weekly activities that include cognitive and motor components(for example, dancing or dumb bell training) may improve memory or global cognition in people with mild cognitive impairment.
  • Very good evidence that participating in resistance training for four months or less may not improve cognitive outcomes in people with or without mild cognitive impairment.
  • Good evidence (known as “Grade B”) that Tai Chi sessions (initially taught by an instructor, and then continued at home for 15 weeks) may improve global cognition, memory and executive functioning in people with mild cognitive impairment. These findings were compared to stretching, toning group and education interventions which were not found to be as effective as Tai Chi.
  • Good evidence that participating in resistance training for 6 months or more may improve global functioning in people with mild cognitive impairment.

Based on these findings, to reduce cognitive decline in people at risk of dementia, the authors recommend participating in regular (at least weekly) physical activity involving aerobic or resistance exercise, with a cognitively demanding and/or creative component for at least four months. Please note that I have underline “may improve/not improve” as each person has a unique health background and even when there is very good evidence for an intervention, it will not always work for everyone. Because individual variability (for example, genetics, environment, biomarkers, etc) can influence how a person responds to physical activity, the idea of physical exercise as personalized medicine is gaining attention in dementia research (Müllers et al., 2019).

Personalized medicine is an intervention approach based on individual variability. Müllers and colleagues (2019) recently commented on the potential benefits that personalized preventive exercise strategies could have, recommending future research to focus on identifying individual factors that may postively or negatively interact with different exercise strategies. This would enhance our ability to recommend personalized exercise programs, overcoming the typically used “one-size-fits all” approach.

In 2019, the World Health Organization published guidelines on the risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia (World Health Organization, 2019). Two recommendations reggarding physical activity are included in the guidelines:

  1. Physical activity is recommended for adults with normal cognition to reduce the risk of cogntive decline. The quality of evidence for this recommendation is moderate.
  2. Physical activity may be recommended for adults with mild cognitive impairment to reduce their risk of cognitive decline. The quality of evidence for this recommendation is low.

The authors of the guidelines concluded that, based on current evidence, physical activity has a small, but beneficial effect on cognition, mostly due to aerobic exercise (e.g., swimming, cycling, walking).

Despite increased research around physical activity and cognition, we still don’t know the minimum duration, frequency, type, and intensity of exercise required to improve cognition. Similarly, although there is very good evidence that physical activity may reduce the risk of cognitive decline, there is mixed evidence about the positive impact of physical activity on cognition in people already diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

From personal experience, engaging in physical activity (even a short 10 minute walk) tends to put me in a better mood which is why I am a proponent for trying to incorporate different forms of physical activity throughout the day. My favourite types of physical activities include yoga, walking, dancing, and swimming. I also thoroughly enjoy hula hooping! I know that it isn’t always easy to find the time or energy to engage in physical activity (especially during a cold winter day!) but I encourage you to think about ways in which you could incorporate physical activity in your daily routine.

I hope the information in this blog has been helpful, but most importantly, I hope it has inspired you to think about how you could incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Your heart, mind and brain will thank you for it!

References

Alty, J., Farrow, M., & Lawler, K. (2020). Exercise and dementia prevention. Practical Neurology, 20, 234–240. https://doi.org/10.1136/practneurol-2019-002335

Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Brayne, C., Burns, A., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Cooper, C., Costafreda, S. G., Dias, A., Fox, N., Gitlin, L. N., Howard, R., Kales, H. C., Kivimäki, M., Larson, E. B., Ogunniyi, A., … Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet, 396(10248), 413–446. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6

Müllers, P., Taubert, M., & Müller, N. G. (2019). Physical exercise as personalized medicine for dementia prevention? Frontiers in Physiology, 10(MAY), 672. https://doi.org/10.3389/FPHYS.2019.00672/BIBTEX

Whitty, E., Mansour, H., Aguirre, E., Palomo, M., Charlesworth, G., Ramjee, S., Poppe, M., Brodaty, H., Kales, H. C., Morgan-Trimmer, S., Nyman, S., Lang, I., Walters, K., Petersen, I., Wenborn, J., Minihane, A. M., Ritchie, K., Huntley, J., Walker, Z., & Cooper, C. (2020). Efficacy of lifestyle and psychosocial interventions in reducing cognitive decline in older people: Systematic review. Ageing Research Reviews, 62, 101113. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ARR.2020.101113

World Health Organization. (2015). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241599979

World Health Organization. (2019). Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/risk-reduction-of-cognitive-decline-and-dementia

 

 

 

Monthly Research Topic – Brain health

We are pleased to recommence a series of monthly blogs, focused on a research topic or theme, and wish to thank PhD candidate Laura Garcia Diaz for writing the first one, and our Brain Health is so important, with or without a diagnosis of dementia!

Many of you will  know DAI hosts a twice monthly Brian health meeting, which is open for anyone to attend, so please contact us if you’d like to join to the mailing list for notifications about these meetings. DAI also hosts a Brain Health group on Facebook, and has a Brain Health Hub on our website.

Let’s talk about brain health 
By Laura Diaz Garcia © 2021

Your brain never sleeps. It is constantly helping you do the things that are important to you. Whether that is making a meal, going on a walk with a friend, or reading a blog about brain health, your brain is always working behind the scenes. The brain does a lot of work for us!

That is why it is so important to think about brain health.

There is strong evidence that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making key lifestyle changes(Livingston et al., 2020):

Be physically active

Exercise increases blood flow to your brain, nourishing your brain cells with nutrients and oxygen. Regular exercise is also good for your heart and can help reduce stress and improve your mood. In a recent study, researchers found that high levels (over 150minutes per week) of physical activity in mid-life is associated with better brain health in later life (Palta et al., 2021). Physical activity can take many forms including walking, dancing, gardening, and playing with children.

Be socially active

There is good evidence that staying connected with your friends, family and other community members is good for your brain health. When we are socializing we are constantly using our brain to help us understand what others are saying, expressing ourselves, laughing, and staying engaged in conversations. In a recent study, researchers found that individuals who reported greater levels of social engagement had more gray matter in the brain (Felix et al., 2021). Gray matter supports memory, emotions and movement control. Social engagement can take many forms including volunteering, attending a religious service and going out for dinner with a friend.

Be cognitively active

Challenge your brain! When we follow a routine, we start doing things without thinking much about them. Just as exercising can help improve your cardiovascular health and body strength, challenging your brain can help engage new or rarely-used mental pathways. Researchers have found that adults 65 years and older who read, play games, speak a second language, or play music have better cognition than those who do not (Chan et al., 2018; Lee et al., 2018). Challenging your brain means trying out something new, such as learning a new language or using your non-dominant hand to write notes, and doing it regularly. To help you do something challenging regularly, try finding a challenging activity that you enjoy.

Follow a healthy diet

The food that we eat is the fuel that our body, including our brain, uses to help us do the things that are important to us. That is why it is important to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. A healthy diet can support our overall health, including our brain health. Although no specific diet has been found to be the best for the brain, the impact of the MIND and Mediterranean diets on brain health are being studied with promising results (Hosking et al., 2018; Petersson & Philippou, 2016). These diets recommend regular consumption of vegetables, berries, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and legumes. It is also recommended to limit process foods, sweets, dairy and meat.

Some of the things mentioned in this blog, such as staying physically active, may have been harder to do during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The COVID-19 lockdowns illustrate how sometimes engaging in brain healthy activities may not be possible because of our environment.

Although at the personal level there are a lot of things that we can do to support our brain health, it is important to advocate for safe public spaces for physical activity, affordable nutritious food, and community programs that encourage social interaction. Educating ourselves about brain health is an important first step. Advocating for policies and environments that support healthy choices is also important to ensure that all community members have access to services and programs that will encourage and support healthy choices.

There is no evidence that there is a single thing that you can do that will benefit your brain health the most. However, the research shows that taking small steps to protect our brain health can make a difference, so find several things that you enjoy and try to stick to them!

Reading blogs such as thisis one way to remain cognitively active. What else will you be doing today to for your brain health? Is there anything that you could do to support the brain health of your friends and family?

Let’s keep the conversation going!

Laura

Donate or Partner with DAI today

References

Chan, D., Shafto, M., Kievit, R., Matthews, F., Spink, M., Valenzuela, M., & Henson, R. N. (2018). Lifestyle activities in mid-life contribute to cognitive reserve in late-life, independent of education, occupation, and late-life activities. Neurobiology of Aging, 70, 180–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.NEUROBIOLAGING.2018.06.012

Felix, C., Rosano, C., Zhu, X., Flatt, J. D., & Rosso, A. L. (2021). Greater Social Engagement and Greater Gray Matter Microstructural Integrity in Brain Regions Relevant to Dementia. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 76(6), 1027–1035. https://doi.org/10.1093/GERONB/GBAA173

Hosking, D. E., Eramudugolla, R., Cherbuin, N., & Anstey, K. J. (2018). MIND not Mediterranean diet related to 12-year incidence of cognitive impairment in an Australian longitudinal cohort study. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2018.12.011

Lee, A. T. C., Richards, M., Chan, W. C., Chiu, H. F. K., Lee, R. S. Y., & Lam, L. C. W. (2018). Association of Daily Intellectual Activities With Lower Risk of Incident Dementia Among Older Chinese Adults. JAMA Psychiatry, 75(7), 697. https://doi.org/10.1001/JAMAPSYCHIATRY.2018.0657

Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Brayne, C., Burns, A., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Cooper, C., Costafreda, S. G., Dias, A., Fox, N., Gitlin, L. N., Howard, R., Kales, H. C., Kivimäki, M., Larson, E. B., Ogunniyi, A., … Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. In The Lancet (Vol. 396, Issue 10248, pp. 413–446). Lancet Publishing Group. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6

Palta, P., Sharrett, A. R., Gabriel, K. P., Gottesman, R. F., Folsom, A. R., Power, M. C., Evenson, K. R., Jack, C. R., Knopman, D. S., Mosley, T. H., & Heiss, G. (2021). Prospective Analysis of Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Midlife and Beyond and Brain Damage on MRI in Older Adults. Neurology, 96(7), e964–e974. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011375

Petersson, S. D., & Philippou, E. (2016). Mediterranean Diet, Cognitive Function, and Dementia: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Advances in Nutrition, 7(5), 889–904. https://doi.org/10.3945/AN.116.012138

 

How to make dementia a rare disease by Dr Dale Bredesen

As part of our daily blog series for World Alzheimer’s Month #WAM,  Dementia Awareness Month #DAM, or World Dementia Month, although we continue to highlight stories about, or by our members, who all live with a diagnosis of dementia, we are also pleased to publish other content related to living with dementia.

Hence for today, we are publishing the video recording of a recent #DAI Brain Health meeting with guest speaker Dr Dale Bredesen, and also attach his power point slides. Professor Bredesen’s talk describes the first reversals of cognitive decline in patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease and a recent successful clinical trial.

Dale is internationally recognized as an expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Alzheimer’s, The End of Alzheimer’s Program, and the newly released The First Survivors of Alzheimer’s.

How to make dementia a rare disease

By Dr Dale Bredesen

 

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Webinar – How to make Alzheimers a rare Disease!

You are invited to join us at the DAI Brain Health Meeting in August 2021: How to make Alzheimer’s a rare Disease! presented by Professor Dale Bredesen, M.D.

DAY/DATE(S):

  • Monday, August 23, 2021 (USA/CA/UK/EU) – 4:30 pm CDT
  • Tuesday, August 24, 2021 (AU/NZ/ASIA) – 7:00 am ACST

Please note this is one event, set in a number of different time zones – it is not being held twice.

About the meeting and our presenter:

Dale Bredesen, M.D., is internationally recognized as an expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Alzheimer’s, The End of Alzheimer’s Program, and the newly released The First Survivors of Alzheimer’s.

He has held faculty positions at UC San Francisco, UCLA, and the University of California San Diego, and directed the Program on Aging at the Burnham Institute before coming to the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in 1998 as its founding president and CEO. He is currently a professor at UCLA.

Professor Bredesen’s talk will describe the first reversals of cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and a recent successful clinical trial.

A great number of DAI members have also believed that a lifestyle approach, to a diagnosis of dementia is closest they have to hope, and even if not a cure, it will improve our quality of life. This is also the reason DAI started its Brain Health Hub and twice monthly meetings many years ago, for members and any others.

Please send in questions in advance to [email protected]

Register here…

Monday, August 23, 2021 (USA/CA/UK/EU)

  • 2:30 pm PDT
  • 3:30 pm MDT
  • 4:30 pm CDT
  • 5:30 pm EDT
  • 10:30 pm UK, BST
  • 11:30 pm Europe

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 (AU/NZ/ASIA)

  • 5:30 am SGT/AWST
  • 7:00 am ACST
  • 7:30 am AEST
  • 9:30 am NZST

The session runs for up to 1 hour.

Please check here if your time is not listed above:

COST TO ATTEND:

  • DAI Members: FREE
  • Care partners of people with dementia: FREE
  • Researchers: FREE
  • Health Care Professionals: FREE
  • Others: FREE
  • DONATION: $30.00

WHILST WE HAVE MADE IT FREE FOR YOU TO ATTEND, PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATIONTO SUPPORT THESE EVENTS AND SERVICES FOR OUR MEMBERS.

Register here…

Support people with dementia:

THANK YOU