Last week, while cycling in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, I met three wonderful women who asked me to join them on their 30-mile ride. The four of us took off on a two-hour journey, sharing breathtaking views of the magnificent canyon. However, it wasn’t long before we realized that we also shared a strong interest in news about brain research, as each one of us has or had a parent or family member suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
My companions told me about a wonderful fundraiser they attended, benefiting the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. I’m familiar with this new, cutting-edge institution, which was designed by well-known architect Frank Gehry, because several Dana Alliance members are on the external scientific advisory board: Paul Greengard, Ph.D., a professor of molecular and cellular neuroscience at Rockefeller University; Zaven Khachaturian, Ph.D. president and chief executive officer of Keep Memory Alive in Las Vegas; John Q. Trojanowski, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania; and Nancy Wexler, Ph.D., a professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University.
But brain science is not just about uncovering the mysteries behind brain disorders; it’s also about keeping our brains healthy. So we’re excited that the Dana Alliance is partnering with AARP Events and the Lou Ruvo Center for AARP’S Annual Life@50+, which will be held Oct. 22-24 in Las Vegas. Among the events the first day will be Staying Sharp, a live public program focusing on how the brain works and how to maximize brain function and health as we age, featuring a panel discussion with Khachaturian.
So while the four of us (all well beyond AARP membership age) soared down a 1,000-foot drop to conclude our ride, we were comforted to know that brain research holds promise and potential for us all.