Harvard Memory Loss Expert At Cognitive Health Speaker Series

St. John’s Cognitive Health will host the sixth annual Cognitive Health Speaker Series on June 8 and 9, in partnership with the University of Wyoming’s Center on Aging. This year’s featured speaker is Dan Press, MD, a neurologist and memory loss expert from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard University teaching hospital.

On Thursday, June 8, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at Teton County Library, Dr. Press will present “Taking Charge! How to Utilize the Tools for Memory Retention.” Studies show that lifestyle interventions can significantly lower the risk of developing memory loss. To date, the most effective programs are multimodal and integrate exercise, specific dietary adjustments, cognitive activities, and management of cardiovascular risk factors. Dr. Press will describe Harvard’s “Brain Fit Club,” St. John’s “BrainWorks” and other programs designed to promote brain health in an engaging way.

On Friday, June 9, Dr. Press will present “Good News in Memory Loss Research” from 12:00 to 1:30 pm at Teton County Library. Promising new therapies are underway to help prevent and slow memory loss. With advances in determining the neural networks that are damaged, the possibility of noninvasive brain stimulation offers a new treatment pathway. Dr. Press will report on encouraging studies to date on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and other brain stimulation techniques. These techniques can be combined with cognitive exercises to help improve specific cognitive functions. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with Dr. Press and Martha Stearn, MD, director of St. John’s Cognitive Health.

Both presentations are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. No RSVP is required.

Dr. Press’s clinical and research interests are in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy Body diseases. He has published extensively on these subjects and is currently conducting research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Harvard Center for Neurodiscovery, and other foundations.

There are now 10,000 Wyomingites suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (up from 7,000 in 2000), and the number is anticipated to rise to 15,000 by 2025. Wyoming’s 114% increase in AD prevalence is one of the highest projected percentage changes in the nation, behind only Utah, Alaska and Colorado. (Source: Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org.) Nationally, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and by 2050, that number is projected to reach 13.5 million. Preventive measures and early diagnosis are essential to managing memory loss and its enormous toll on families and communities.

Further details about the Cognitive Health Speaker Series are available at St. John’s Cognitive Health or by contacting event coordinator Annie Riddell at 307 690 5284 or annie@clearviewstrategieswy.com(link sends e-mail).

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