Stigma around Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death among Americans, is slowly eroding as the disease becomes more and more visible in our communities and in popular culture. Films such as “Still Alice” and Pixar’s “Coco” are helping the general public to learn about and have conversations about dementia.
Open discussions of their personal diagnoses from high-profile figures like former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, musician Glen Campbell and restaurateur B. Smith are putting a public face on the progressive brain disease. While awareness is increasing, there are still aspects of Alzheimer’s and its impacts on society that are largely.... Read More
Advances in technology and data analysis are shaping the ways we identify, treat, and understand public health challenges like Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease that erodes memory and thinking skills. As the sixth leading cause of death in America, Alzheimer’s is distablizing our healthcare system, economy, and local communities. Its remarkable cost, about $277 billion annually, is even limiting the ability of states to invest in early childhood education. This multifaceted healthcare crisis is ripe for disruption and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is fostering a dialogue on the power of tech to do just that by leveraging big data, machine learning, and digital technologies to improve detection, upskill caregivers, and to increase public awareness. Below are a few of the key areas that.... Read More
Latinos & Alzheimer’s: Empowering Communities Through Culture
The names of friends and family members become harder to remember. You might forget how to tie your shoes or have difficulty dressing in the morning. You might find yourself lost in places that you have known your entire life or be confused by what day of the week it is. These are some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease impacting millions of Americans — and hitting women and communities of color especially hard.
In fact, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or a related dementia than non-Latino whites, and a report from LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s and the USC Roybal Institute on Aging projects the number of Latinos living with.... Read More
Brain Health & Inequality: Reflections on the Aspen Summit on Inequality & Opportunity
The 2017 Aspen Summit on Inequality & Opportunity brought together a diverse mix of policymakers, thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and practitioners to address the nation’s widening opportunity gap. Tucked between to-be-expected panels on manufacturing and hunger, was a 15 minute talk by Dr. Sarah Enos Watamura, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Denver and Director of the Child Health & Development Lab, on the biology of adversity. She opened by posing the question: How could a consideration of biology inform policy and practice solutions for moving families from inequality to opportunity?
Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease; every minute, a family is changed forever. In the coming decades, the number of Latino families impacted by this progressive brain disease will grow dramatically due to an increase in the Latino older adult population and higher rates of of diabetes and heart disease, both risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
by William Vega and Daisy Duarte. William is a Provost Professor and Director, USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Daisy is an advocate for the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Network and an Alzheimer’s caregiver.
NYU clinical professor Yvonne Latty never expected the hardships faced as a caregiver for her mother living with Alzheimer’s. From the 24/7 care to the rising medical bills, the experience has been overwhelming. Her attempts to access a diagnosis and treatment for her mother in the Bronx left her angry, frustrated and confused. A doctor smugly suggested Yvonne “Google” her mother’s condition and devise a plan for her with the help of URLs.
As Alzheimer’s and brain awareness month comes to a close, I want to highlight two powerful stories that underscore trends that deserve greater attention: the growing impact of Alzheimer’s on communities of color and the growth of the millennial caregiver.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s recently partnered with Genius of Caring, a web-based initiative that documents the growing impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia on families, to present the story of Kamaria Moore, 30, and her mother Mary, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 58. Kamaria is a new homeowner, recently engaged, and solely responsible for her mother’s intensive care.
Kamaria’s experience highlights the growing impact of dementia on African Americans, a community three times more.... Read More
One Advocate’s Journey: Fighting Alzheimer’s Through Awareness and Research
As the director of the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Coalition, I’m thrilled when we can work hand-in-hand with our members to raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s among their constituents, staff, and partners. That’s why I’m pleased to share our most recent collaboration with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization.
LULAC News – the organization’s membership magazine – sat down with LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s advocate Daisy Duarte to learn more about Alzheimer’s impact on Latinos and about her role as a caregiver advocate and a clinical trial participant.
Daisy Duarte is one of my personal heroes. She’s not a member of congress, a policy wonk, or a world-renowned research scientist, but she’s disrupting the way we think about Alzheimer’s on the Hill, in research labs, and in communities across the country. Daisy is a proud Latina, a full-time caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s, and a clinical trial participant. And as the number of Latinos with Alzheimer’s is projected to grow dramatically over the next 30 years, she’s exactly the kind of voice we need in the fight against Alzheimer’s today.
From her difficulty getting a timely and accurate diagnosis to her costly emergency room visit, Daisy’s story is typical of many Latino families struggling with Alzheimer’s..... Read More
I remember the day I graduated from college like it was yesterday. My family flew in from our small town in South Texas to watch me become the first person in our family to graduate from college. The look on my mother’s face as I walked across the stage on that sunny DC day will be with me forever…or at least I hope it will. Memory is more fragile than we think, particularly for Latinos.
While not widely known, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to get Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and is ultimately fatal. According to researchers, Alzheimer’s disease contributes to the deaths of.... Read More