U.Va. Institute on Aging to Host Conference on Alzheimer's Disease

May 28, 2009 — A statewide conference for health care professionals and caregivers, "Collaborating to Fight Alzheimer's Disease: Integrated Approaches to Research, Treatment and Care Giving," will be held June 20 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.

Internationally renowned speakers, including neuroscientist Dr. Steven T. DeKosky, a leading Alzheimer's researcher and vice president and dean of the U.Va. Medical School, will present the latest information on the causes, diagnosis and treatments for Alzheimer's and other dementias.

DeKosky is featured on the HBO program, "The Alzheimer's Project." He studies early pathological and chemical alterations in the brain associated with the development of Alzheimer's, as well as the neurochemistry of brain trauma and how it relates to Alzheimer's. DeKosky was the first researcher to show the relationship between nerve cell contacts (synapses) and the severity of the cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease.

He recently completed a National Institutes of Health-funded clinical trial of 3,000 participants, studying the efficacy of Ginkgo biloba in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Gary Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and the author of the bestselling book "The Memory Bible," will deliver a talk on breakthrough technologies that allow physicians to detect Alzheimer's years before patients start showing symptoms.

Many experts view Alzheimer's disease as the health care crisis of the 21st century. More than 5 million Americans already have this fatal disease, and a new case develops every 70 seconds. State-of-the art knowledge is essential to helping health care providers, patients and their families in diagnosis and treatment.

U.Va.'s Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association's Central and Western Virginia Chapter jointly sponsor the conference. The Commonwealth of Virginia's Geriatric Care and Training Initiative of the Virginia Center on Aging is supporting the event. Attendees will include primary care physicians, neurologists, nurse practitioners, long-term care senior staff, faculty and students from Virginia universities and caregivers.

Further information and online registration is available at www.cmevillage.com. Click on "Live Conferences," then scroll down to "Collaborating to Fight Alzheimer's Disease." Registrants may also fax registration forms with payment information to Bebe Moore at 434-243-6393.

About the University of Virginia Institute on Aging

The primary mission of the U.Va. Institute on Aging is to understand and enhance the aging process throughout the human lifespan. It acts as a catalyst and coordinator for interdisciplinary research, education, and service programs.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

— By Fariss Samarrai