Last week I attended the Women Conquer Alzheimer’s Conference in Bradenton, Florida sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association. I was not sure what to expect, but I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for me to network. Researching and building relationships is my jam.
There were about 40 people in attendance. The guest speakers covered a variety of topics including the 10 early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, the difference between dementia and Alzheimers, and some interesting facts and figures:
- Every 65 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease
- Almost 2/3 of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are women
- One in ten people over 65 have Alzheimers/dementia
- 5.8 million people are living with Alzheimer’s, and by 2050 it is projected to rise to 14 million
- In 2019 Alzheimer’s/dementia will cost the United States $290 billion. By 2050 it is expected to cost $1.1 trillion
- Read additional facts and figures
The topic I found most worthwhile was a discussion about the clinical trials underway. Unfortunately, most of the clinical trials and studies have not yielded any positive results. However, one drug made by Biogen is in the final stages for approval and it looks promising in slowing down the progression. The presenter indicated that the study participants who were involved in the original study before it was stopped will be offered to start the medication in early 2020. The rest of us will have to wait for FDA approval. I hate this waiting game…….I often feel like I am hanging on by a thread waiting for some good news……someone to throw me a life line.
I was thrilled to learn about the Part the Cloud Initiative. Bill Gates is partnering with this initiative to fund Alzheimer’s research which has the highest probability of slowing, stopping or ultimately curing Alzheimer’s Disease. Finally…….some positive news! For now though, there is not much out there that can help patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. The Alzheimer’s documents the 10 ways to love your brain. The Alzheimer’s Association’s recommendation is consistent with my Alzheimer’s Plan of Attack which I work on daily.
The most beneficial thing that I achieved at this conference was building my network of people who can potentially help me to make connections to other people involved in Alzheimer’s research and the Alzheimer’s Association. I met several at the conference and they were happy to meet me and happy to try to help me. I would like to spend my remaining year as an Alzheimer’s Advocate and helping to change the look of Alzheimer’s and ultimately find a cure. I spend several hours a week researching and contacting people who can help me with this goal. I want to give back while I can.
One thing that my friend in the picture above and I noticed was how difficult we found it to pay attention and to grasp what was being presented. The meeting lasted for four hours and they did not take any breaks nor did they hand out any of the presentation materials. So it was up to us to take notes (which is very difficult since we can’t remember what was just said two minutes ago). After the first two hours we both mentioned to each other how exhausted were were by this approach. We both came without our spouses, but I’m not sure that was wise. We were exhausted at the end of the meeting. I had a serious case of brain fog after this meeting……I was very thankful that I no longer work. I would have thought that the Alzheimer’s Association would have modified the agenda based on who the audience was (a group of people with serious cognitive issues).
All in all, it was as productive day and a good investment of my time. For any of you struggling with cognitive issues, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Alzheimer’s Association website. It is a wealth of information and resources.