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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

Staying Sharp Oakland, Allen Temple Baptist Church
March 29, 2014

Staying Sharp Oakland Panel photo
[The Panel from left to right: Marcus Penn, Monika Eckfield, Patrick Griffith, Paulina Van, & Jackie Bolds]

There were just over 300 people at the Staying Sharp session at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, CA. The program, including a brain-warm-up, panel discussion and Q&A, ran from 9:00 am - 11:30 am. There were also information tables and displays from a number of local organizations. The panelists for this session were: DABI member, Patrick A. Griffith, MD, FAAN, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chief of Neurology at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta; Jackie Bolds, MD, Internal Medicine with Alameda Health System; Monika B. Eckfield, RN, PhD,Assistant professor at the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences at California State University, East Bay; and Marcus Penn, MD, CYT, who also lead the brain warm-up exercise. The session was moderated by Paulina Van, RN, PhD, CNE, Chair of the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences at California State University, East Bay.

For more info, quotes and photos check out the Storify post covering Staying Sharp Oakland.

Read the transcript from Staying Sharp Oakland.

 Staying Sharp NYU: braiNY, Brain Awareness Week NYC
March 12, 2014

Staying Sharp brainy NYU 2014    

Around 75 active-agers attended the Staying Sharp program at the NYU Langone Medical Center as part of braiNY, the New York City collaborative celebration of Brain Awareness Week. The panelists for the program, all from the Comprehensive Center on Brain Aging were: Yael Zweig, NP,Nurse Practitioner, Department of Psychiatry, Ricardo Osorio, MD, PhD, Research Assistant, Department of Psychiatry, Center on Brain Health, and Lidia Glodzik, MD, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Radiology and Psychiatry, Center on Brain Health.

Video footage of Staying Sharp NYU is available here

For more info, check out the Storify post covering the Staying Sharp NYU

2013 Forums

Staying Sharp Atlanta ( AARP Life@50+ )
October 5, 2013

 Staying Sharp Atlanta
(From left to right: Patrick A. Griffith, Laura Reynolds, James J. Lah)

Just over 50 people were in attendance for the Staying Sharp presentation at AARP’s East Coast Life@50+ Conference in Atlanta, GA. The panelists for the session were DABI member, Patrick A. Griffith, MD, FAAN, the Chief of the Division of Neurology and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine, and James J. Lah, MD, PhD, an Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Cognitive Neurology Program as well as Vice Chair Department of Neurology and Alice and Roy Richards Professor and Chair  of the Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. The session was moderated by Laura Reynolds, Senior Project Manager at the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.

For more info, check out the Storify post covering Staying Sharp Atlanta.

Staying Sharp Buffalo, New York
September 28, 2013

 

Just over 400 people were in attendance at the Staying Sharp session in Buffalo, NY on September 28. The program took place at the Hearthstone Manor from 9 am - 1 pm. The panel discussion was preceeded and concluded by hour-long brain health fairs. Also preceeding the panel discussion was a short "Brain Warm-up" exercise routine led by professional trainer Richard Derwald. The panelists for the session were Gil I. Wolfe, MD, FAAN, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Irvin and Rosemary Smith Chair at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences/SUNY, and Jessica J. Englert, PhD, Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Neurology Department of DeGraff Memorial Hospital, Kaleida Health. Bill Armbruster, Associate State Director of AARP New York moderated the session.

Check out the Storify post covering Staying Sharp Buffalo.

Read the transcript from Staying Sharp Buffalo.

Staying Sharp Suffolk County
June 8, 2013

About 150 "successful agers" attended the Staying Sharp session in Suffolk County, New York. The Suffolk County Staying Sharp had originally been scheduled for Nov. 1, 2012, but was cancelled and rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy. The panelists for the session, both DABI members from Stony Brook School of Medicine, were Dennis Choi, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Neurology and Director of the Neuroscience Institute and Patricia K. Coyle, MD, Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs in the Department of Neurology. The session's moderator was Drew Scott,  a senior correspondent from News 12 Long Island.

Check out the Storify post covering Staying Sharp Suffolk County.

Read the transcript from Staying Sharp Suffolk County.

Staying Sharp Las Vegas (AARP Life@50+ )
June 1, 2013

Las Vegas 2013

There were around 250 people in attendance at the Staying Sharp presentation at AARP's Life@50+ national conference in Las Vegas, NV. Staying Sharp will also present at the AARP Life@50+ event in Atlanta, GA this October. The panelists for the Las Vegas session, both from the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, were Charles Bernick, MD,  the Associate Medical Director, and Donna Munic-Miller, PhD an Associate Staff member there. The session's moderator, also from the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, was Susan Hirsch, MSW, LSW,the Director of Social Services at the center. 

Check out the Storify link covering Staying Sharp Las Vegas.

Staying Sharp Grace Baptist
Saturday May 4, 2013

Grace Baptist
(From left to right: Desiree Byrd, Patrick A. Griffith, Christopher Edwards, Dionne Polite, Andre A. Fenton)

There were 400 people in attendance for the Staying Sharp presentation at the Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, NY on May 4. This was the first time the Dana Foundation partnered with a church to present the Staying Sharp program. In addition to the Grace Baptist Church, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives also partnered with Westchestergov.com, Westchester Public Private Partnership for Aging Services, Westchester County Livable Communities and AARP to present the program. The session was preceded by the "brain warm-up" exercise routine led by personal trainer George Duran. The panelists for the session were Desiree Byrd, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Christopher Edwards, PhD, Director of the Chronic Pain Management Unit at Duke University Medical Center, Andre A. Fenton, PhD, from New York University, and DABI member Patrick A. Griffith, MD, FAAN, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chief of Neurology at Morehouse School of Medicine. The moderator for the session was Dionne Polite of AARP New York.

Check out the Storify link covering Staying Sharp Grace Baptist.

Read the transcript from Staying Sharp Grace Baptist.

New York, NY
braiNY: Brain Awareness Week in New York City (March 11-17)

Two Staying Sharp sessions were presented during Brain Awareness Week (BAW) as part of braiNY, New York City's collaborative celebration of BAW. These sessions were held at NYU Langone Medical Center and Hunter College.

braiNY Staying Sharp

Staying Sharp Hunter College
Friday, March 15, 2013

Around 125 people attended the Staying Sharp presentation at Hunter College on March 15. The program was presented by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in partnership with Hunter College and AARP New York. The panelists for the session were Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Christine Anne Ganzer, PhD, RN, NPP, Assistant Professor at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing. The session was moderated by Roger Persell, PhD, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Hunter College.

Read the transcript from Staying Sharp Hunter.

                                                                            

Staying Sharp NYU
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On March 13, 2013 around 80 people attended the Staying Sharp presentation at Farkas Auditorium in the NYU Langone Medical Center. The program was presented by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in partnership with NYU and AARP New York. The panel of experts consisted of three NYU clinicians from the Pearl I. Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment.Read the transcript from Staying Sharp NYU.

2012 Forums

Westchester County, NY
December 1, 2012

Staying Sharp 12.1.12 moderator panelists
(From left to right: John H. Morrison, Shannon A. White, & Rajiv R. Ratan)

On December 1, 2012 over 500 “successful agers” attended the Staying Sharp forum at the Westchester County Center. The program was presented by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in partnership with AARP New York, the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services, and the Westchester County Executive’s Office. The panelists for the session—both Dana Alliance members—were John H. Morrison, PhD, Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, and Willard T.C. Johnson Professor of Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Rajiv R. Ratan, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, and Associate Dean at Weill Cornell Medical College. The session was moderated by News 12 Westchester’s, Shannon A. White.

Check out this Storify Link covering Staying Sharp Westchester.

Read the transcript from Staying Sharp Westchester.
                                                                                   

Rochester, NY
October 27, 2012

Rochester Panelists

(From left to right: Carol Podgorski, William J. Hall, & Lisa L. Boyle)

Over 450 people attended the Staying Sharp forum at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York on Saturday, October 27th. The program was presented by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in partnership with AARP New York. The session was preceded by an hour long Brain Fair and a “Brain Warm-Up” fitness routine (seen in the image above). The session was moderated by William Armbruster, Associate State Director of AARP New York. The panelists, all from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, were William J. Hall, MD, Paul Fine Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics and Director of the Center for Healthy Aging, Lisa L. Boyle, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship, and Carol Podgorski, PhD, MPH, MS, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry.

Check out this Storify link covering Staying Sharp, Rochester.

Read the transcript from the Staying Sharp session in Rochester.
                                                                                    

Lexington, KY 
June 2, 2012

Staying Sharp Lexington Main

On June 2nd, 2012 around 250 people attended the Staying Sharp forum at the Hyatt Regency at Lexington Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The program was presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. The session was moderated by Dana Alliance member Linda Van Eldik, PhD, (seen in the far left of the image above) Director of Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. The panelists were (from left to right in image above) Gregory Cooper, MD, PhD, Baptist Neurology Center-Lexington, Donna Wilcock, PhD, Department of Physiology, University of Kentucky, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and, Frederick Schmitt, PhD, Department of Neurology, University of Kentucky, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

Watch a video of the Staying Sharp session in Lexington, KY in 2012.

Read the transcript from the Staying Sharp session in Lexington.
                                                                           

Winston-Salem, NC
April 28, 2012

Over 200 people attended the Staying Sharp session at Biotech Place in Winston-Salem, NC on April 28th, 2012. The session was presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with Wake Forest University and Wake Forest Baptist Health. The session began with a keynote address and book signing by Gary Small, MD, author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. There was also a Brain Fair for attendees of the forum. The panelists for the session were all from Wake Forest University and Wake Forest School of Medicine. These panelists were Kaycee Michelle Sink, MD, MAS, Medical Director, Kulynych Memory Assessment Clinic, Janine Jennings, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Floyd “Ski” Chilton, PhD, Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Paul Laurienti, MD, PhD, Director, Laboratory for Complex Brain Networks.

Read the transcript from the Staying Sharp session in Winston-Salem.
                                                                            

Liverpool, NY
April 14, 2012

Staying Sharp Liverpool, NY

A crowd of over 400 people gathered for the Staying Sharp session at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Liverpool, NY on April 14th, 2012. The session was presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with AARP New York. The session was preceded by an hour long Brain Fair and a “Brain Warm-Up” fitness routine led by professional trainer Gioia Gensini. The moderator for this session (seen on the far left) was Marilyn Pinsky, AARP NY State President. The panelists for the session were (from left to right) JoAnne Spoto-Decker, Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth, Sharon Brangman, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Division Chief, Geriatrics, Upstate Medical University, Tarakad Ramachandran, M.D., Medical Director of Neuroscience Services, Crouse Hospital, and Nabil Aziz, M.D. Neurological Care Center.

Read the transcript from the Staying Sharp session in Liverpool, NY.

2011 Forums

New York, NY
November 19, 2011

On November 19, 2011 over 200 people attended the Staying Sharp session at Lighthouse International in New York City. This particular session, presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with AARP New York, was geared towards the African American community. Included in the program were two exercise routines, an initial “Brain Warm-Up”, led by professional trainers Andre Wilkins and Luc Bernado, and a subsequent fitness demonstration from a professional yogi. The moderator for the session was Dionne Polite of AARP New York. The panelists were Andre A. Fenton, PhD, New York University, Center for Neural Science, and Jennifer J. Manly, PhD, Taub Institute on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University Medical Center.
                                                                            

November 12, 2011

Staying Sharp Hunter College

Around 150 people gathered for the Staying Sharp session at Hunter College in New York City on Saturday, November 12, 2011. The session, presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with AARP New York, was geared towards the Hispanic community. The session was preceded by a “Brain Warm-Up” exercise routine led by professional trainers Andre Wilkins and Luc Bernado. A Zumba fitness presentation also occurred following the program. The session was moderated by AARP New York Associate State Director, Yvette Martinez. The panelists were Leo J. Shea III, PhD, Rusk Institute, New York University Langone Medical Center, and Pedro Saez, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.  
                                                                           

New Haven, CT
October 29, 2011

On Saturday, October 29, 2011 around 100 people attended the Staying Sharp session at Yale University in New Haven, CT. The session was presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with Yale University School of Medicine. All of the panelists were from the Yale University School of Medicine. These panelists were Amy F.T. Arnsten, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology, and Christopher H. van Dyck, MD, Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit. The session’s moderator, also from Yale University School of Medicine, was Robert Wickham, BS, Department of Psychiatry. The program also included a Brain Fair organized by Yale graduate students.

2010 Forums

St. Louis, MO
May 15, 2010

1. Short Description: Staying Sharp, St. Louis, 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.

Houston, TX
April 17, 2010

Staying Sharp, Houston 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.

Miami, FL
March 20, 2010

Staying Sharp, Miami, 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.  

2009 FORUMS

Las Vegas, NV
AARP Vegas @ 50+
October 22, 2009

Staying Sharp in Las Vegas, October 2009 - Panel - Spotlight

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. 

Chicago, IL
AARP Life Festival
June 6, 2009

 Staying Sharp, Chicago, June 2009 - Content
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.
San Antonio Life Festival_content

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.

Atlanta, GA
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. Staying Sharp panel, Atlanta, April 2009_c
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).

Staying Sharp panel, San Antonio, March 2009_content

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.


2008 FORUMS

New York, NY
October 25, 2008

The last Staying Sharp forum of 2008 took place at Symphony Space in New York City.

Staying Sharp in New York, NY, October 25, 2008-content

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.

Concord, NC
October 4, 2008

In early October 2008 a Staying Sharp session was held in Concord, NC, just outside of Charlotte. 

Staying Sharp in Concord, North Carolina October 4, 2008-content

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.

Washington, DC
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. 

 

 Staying Sharp in Washington, DC, September 5, 2008-content

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.

SS_San_Francisco_May2008 - content

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.


2007 FORUMS

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.

Boston, MA
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.