Staying Sharp Live Forums: Archives
Below is an archive of Staying Sharp live sessions. The forums, held in cities across the nation, bring together leading neuroscientists for a dynamic exchange with the audience, covering topics including how the brain changes throughout life, memory loss, brain diseases and disorders, and how to maintain cognitive function. For more information about the Staying Sharp program, including upcoming forums, the Staying Sharp booklets, and the Staying Sharp DVD program, please visit the Staying Sharp main page.
St. Louis, MO
May 15, 2010
More than 275 people gathered at the Eric P. Newman Education Center (EPNEC) at Washington University in St. Louis for a Staying Sharp program presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine. The panelists were (left to right, above) Alliance member David M. Holtzman, MD, Andrew B. and Gretchen P Jones Professor and Chairman of Neurology, Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center; Alison Goate, D Phil, Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Genetics in Psychiatry; Monique M. Williams, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry; and moderator John C. Morris, MD, Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Director and Principal Investigator of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. All were from the Washington University School of Medicine.
April 17, 2010
A small audience attended this Staying Sharp program including a class of nursing students who attended with their professor who thought the students could benefit from the session. It was presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with the Neuroscience Research Center at the University of Texas Medical School. The panelists were (left to right, above) Alliance member John H. “Jack” Byrne, PhD; June and Virgil Waggoner Chair; Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Director, Neuroscience Research Center; Sharon K. Ostwald, PhD, RN, CS, Isla Carroll Turner Chair Gerontological Nursing; Director, Center on Aging; Professor; and Alliance member James A. Ferrendelli, MD, Kraft W. Eidman Professor in the Medical Sciences, Professor of Neurology. The moderator was James H. “Red” Duke, Jr., MD, John B. Holmes Professor of Clinical Sciences and Vice Chairman for Surgical Development, Professor of Surgery (far right, above). All are from the University of Texas School of Medicine.
March 20, 2010
This Staying Sharp program was presented as part of our partner organization the Neurology Department of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis’ Brain Fair 2010 at the Miami Science Museum. The panel included (left to right, above) DABI member/Dana Press author Walter Bradley, MD; moderator Bonne Levin, PhD, Director, Division of Neurology; Ralph Sacco, MS, MD, FAAN, FAHA, Neurology Chairman and Clinton B. Wright, MD, MS, Evelyn F. McKnight Center for Age Related Memory Loss, all of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Las Vegas, NV
AARP Vegas @ 50+
October 22, 2009
An audience of nearly 1,000 AARP members gathered for the final Staying Sharp forum of 2009, which took place at AARP’s “Vegas@50+” conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, October 22. For this session, the Alliance partnered with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (CCLRCBH) of Las Vegas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain diseases and disorders. The all CCLRCBH panel, including (left to right) Randolph Schiffer, MD, the Center’s medical director; Donna Munic, PhD, director of caregiver programs; and session moderator Maureen Peckman, CEO of Keep Memory Alive, the support organization for CCLRCBH, discussed memory and the aging brain, diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease, the role of the caregiver, and more.
AARP Life Festival
June 6, 2009
In early June a Staying Sharp took place at Chicago’s Navy Pier, at AARP’s Life Festival Chicago. Percil Stanford, PhD (at podium, above), AARP’s Chief Diversity Officer, welcomed the audience and introduced the panel to open the session. Moderator James M. Galloway, MD (seated, right), Assistant U.S. Surgeon General, opened the session by asking the experts to relay the good news about the aging brain. Panelists (left to right) Nancy Johnson, PhD; Lei Wang, PhD; and Robert Vassar, PhD, all of Northwestern University, shared with the audience insights from their individual areas of expertise. A major topic of discussion was the “four factors” of cognitive fitness, and the entire panel urged the audience to be mentally, physically, and socially active, and to maintain good cardiovascular health.
San Antonio, TX
AARP Life Festival
May 16, 2009
In mid-May the first of the Staying Sharp forums to take place as part of AARP’s new Life Festivals events was held in San Antonio.
An enthusiastic Festival audience joined in on a conversation among (left to right, above) moderator Leobardo Estrada, PhD (UCLA; AARP’s Board of Directors), and panelists José E. Cavazos, MD, PhD, and Donald A. Robin, PhD, both of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Following a discussion on topics as varied as how to address concerns over a loved one’s memory problems, cutting-edge imaging for Alzheimer’s disease, and new research into how speech therapy might help reorganize the brain, the audience eagerly awaited the panel’s answers to questions on a variety of brain-related topics.
April 18, 2009
A Staying Sharp session was held in Atlanta, GA in April 2009. The forum was part of a weekend-long celebration honoring the work of Dana Alliance member Mahlon R. DeLong, MD (second from right, below), W. P. Timmie Professor of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Dr. DeLong joined fellow Alliance members (left to right, above) Guy McKhann, MD, of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Marilyn S. Albert, PhD, also from Johns Hopkins University; and Allan Levey, MD, PhD, of the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, in a lively conversation about the brain. Dr. McKhann moderated the session, leading the panel in a discussion focused on the aging brain and what we can all do to stay sharp. The diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, Dr. DeLong’s area of expertise, was also a particular focus of the forum.
Dana news articles on Dr. DeLong’s work:
“A Brain Region, Redefined”
“Brain Stimulation Pioneer Sets Sights on Other Diseases”
San Antonio, TX
March 14, 2009
The first Staying Sharp of 2009 took place in San Antonio, kicking off this year’s Brain Awareness Week celebration (March 16-22).
The panel (l to r, above), José E. Cavazos, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Dana Alliance member Michael J. Friedlander, PhD, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; and James L. Roberts, PhD, from Trinity University in San Antonio, joined moderator Annette Norsman, PhD, of AARP (far right) in conversation. The discussion focused on Staying Sharp topics such as how the brain changes as we age, and touched upon topics of particular interest to the panelists, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and vascular risk among the Hispanic community in the United States.
New York, NY
October 25, 2008
The last Staying Sharp forum of 2008 took place at Symphony Space in New York City.
Dana Alliance member Bernice Grafstein, PhD (Weill Cornell Medical College, NY) (second from left, above) joined fellow panelists (l to r) Nikos Scarmeas, MD, MSc (Columbia University Medical Center, NY) and Charles Mobbs, PhD (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY) in a conversation moderated by Annette Norsman, PhD, of AARP.
A brain primer by Dr. Grafstein opened the session. Dr. Mobbs then spoke about the aging brain and neuroplasticity and told the audience that the “theme of the day” would be “optimism,” reflecting the positive news coming from current research. Before moving into more specific details on research and treatment, Dr. Scarmeas provided an overview of the different types of research (basic, observational, interventional), which helped place the remaining discussion on research in perspective.
Questions from the audience included the effect of meditation on vascular risk factors, the importance of sleep, disease screening, and more. A question about memory slips prompted Dr. Grafstein to remind the audience that we all have to “work with what we’ve got”—earning a round of applause.
October 4, 2008
In early October 2008 a Staying Sharp session was held in Concord, NC, just outside of Charlotte.
An all North Carolina-based panel—(l to r, above) Christopher Edwards, PhD, Duke University; Kelly Giovanello, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, also from Duke University—joined moderator Annette Norsman, PhD, Director of Lifelong Learning at AARP, in conversation.
The session opened with an overview the panelists' expertise. Dr. Edwards spoke about his research into the influence of race, gender, and geography on the development of dementia. Dr. Doraiswamy discussed his work in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Giovanello, a memory expert, spoke about her research work before moving into an overview of the different kinds of memory.
The panelists encouraged the audience to participate in research trials and shared local and national resources to help them become involved. Nearly every question from the audience during the Q&A was prefaced with wholehearted appreciation for the panelists’ time and expertise, and the session closed with a standing ovation from the audience.
September 5, 2008
On Friday, September 5, a Staying Sharp session was presented in Washington, DC as part of AARP’s annual “Life@50+” event. For this special session the Dana Alliance brought back the panel from an October 2007 session that took place at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC.
|Photo: Jim Burger Photography
Stephanie Johnson, PhD, (American Psychological Association; far right, above), moderated a discussion among panelists (l to r) Walter J. Koroshetz, MD, of NINDS; P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD (Duke University); Christopher Edwards, PhD, (Duke University); and Patrick Griffith, MD, FAAN (Morehouse School of Medicine).
AARP Board member J. David Nelson welcomed the full house and introduced the panel. Dr. Johnson opened the conversation by asking the panelists to discuss their research work, and by asking Dr. Koroshetz to provide a primer on the brain, which he described as one of the “final frontiers” of scientific exploration. The panel stressed the importance of staying mentally, socially, and physically active. Vascular risk as a factor for disease and dementia was covered in-depth, and the audience was urged to pay attention to factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, hypertension, and weight. The panel also discussed the role of lifestyle factors and genetics among African-Americans.
After closing the discussion with remarks from Dr. Koroshetz and Dr. Edwards on the importance of clinical trials, Dr. Johnson called upon the audience for their questions, which covered topics such as the possible link between heavy metals and dementia and treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.
San Francisco, CA
May 17, 2008
The 2008 season of Staying Sharp live forums launched with a session in San Francisco at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
A crowd of 800 attended the morning program to hear Dana Alliance member Lennart Mucke, MD (Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and the University of California, San Francisco) (on left) and Michael P. Stryker, PhD (University of California, San Francisco) (middle) speak about the brain. Annette Norsman, PhD, Director of Lifelong Learning for AARP (on right), moderated the session.
Dr. Stryker opened the discussion with an impressive primer on the brain, for which he received a round of applause from the audience for, in Dr. Norsman’s words, condensing a semester’s worth of brain anatomy and function lessons into a five minute introduction. Dr. Norsman then led the panelists through more than an hour of conversation on healthy changes in the brain with aging, disorders of the brain, the latest in research into neurological diseases, and guidelines for a brain healthy lifestyle. During the section on diseases, Dr. Mucke, whose research work focuses in part on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), stressed that, contrary to popular opinion, AD should not be considered an expected part of normal aging. He encouraged the audience to become educated on the latest research into AD and other diseases, to advocate for research funding, and to join clinical trials to aid in the search for cures.
At the close of the conversation, members of the audience lined up to ask the panelists questions about alcohol use and the brain, how mice brains relate to human brains, the effect of chemotherapy on the brain, the role of genetics in brain health, and many more topics.
San Diego, CA
November 3, 2007
On Saturday, November 3, an audience of 1,350 attended the Staying Sharp session at the Town & Country resort in San Diego. This was the final session of 2007, and the year’s most highly attended.
Panelists (left to right) Floyd Bloom, M.D. (Scripps Research Institute); Carl Cotman, Ph.D (University of California, Irvine); and Michael Rugg, Ph.D (University of California, Irvine); joined moderator Annette Norsman, Ph.D (director of NRTA: AARP's Educator Community) in a lively conversation spanning brain health topics. A particular focus of the discussion was cutting-edge brain research in disease, dementia, and memory. Following the panel discussion members of the audience lined up for a question and answer period, after which Dr. Bloom signed copies of his recent Dana publication Best of the Brain from Scientific American.
September 7, 2007
An enthusiastic audience of more than 600 people filled the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for a Staying Sharp session that was organized as part of “Life@50+,”AARP’s annual national member conference.
(From left) Dennis J. Selkoe, M.D., Reisa Sperling, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D., M.B.A, and David A. Drachman, M.D., joined in a lively conversation led by moderator Annette Norsman, the director of NRTA: AARP's Educator Community.
Opening with a primer on the brain, the discussion touched on many neuroscience topics, including memory loss and aging, brain plasticity and how the older brain learns, potential causes of dementia, the benefit of clinical trials, and causes of depression. The speakers offered four basic guidelines to follow to protect the health of their brains: maintaining physical activity, staying mentally active, remaining socially engaged, and managing cardiovascular risk.
This is the fourth time that a Staying Sharp session has been presented at AARP’s annual event, which this year drew a record crowd of more than 27,000 people. This was the second time Boston had played host to Staying Sharp: More than 700 people attended the session at the Boston/Newton Marriott in Newton, Mass., on February 10. Drs. Drachman and Sperling were panelists at that session as well.
Washington, DC October 6, 2007
More than 500 people attended a Staying Sharp session at the Lincoln Theatre in the nation's capital. The discussion included a special focus on the treatment of depression and stroke prevention in minority populations.
The panel included (from left) P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., head of the Biological Psychiatry Division at Duke University Medical Center; Christopher Edwards, Ph.D, Medical Director of the Biofeedback Laboratory at Duke University; Walter Koroshetz, M.D., Deputy Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); Patrick Griffith, M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at Meharry Medical College in Nashville; and discussion moderator Stephanie Johnson, Ph.D, Director of Applied Psychological Science, American Psychological Association. Dr. Johnson was a panelist the April 2007 Staying Sharp session in Tucson.
For more information about the Staying Sharp program, including upcoming forums, the Staying Sharp booklets, and the Staying Sharp DVD program, please visit the Staying Sharp main page.