Keystone Symposia invites the local Summit County community to The Eileen and Paul Finkel Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge on Tuesday evening, March 4 to hear three researchers discuss the work they are doing finding new ways to identify, delay or even prevent and treat Alzheimer’s. The hour-long free event begins at 7 p.m.
Beginning March 2 and running for the week, Keystone Symposia is convening joint scientific research conferences at the Keystone Conference Center on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).
“Convening the world’s leading AD and PD scientists here in Summit County next week provides an ideal opportunity to get the public in on the discussion,” Dr. David Woodland, Keystone Symposia’s chief scientific officer, stated in a news release. “Given the demographics of Summit County and the fact that Alzheimer’s is largely a disease resulting from extended life expectancies, the event should be of great interest to members of the community.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three Americans will die with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Approximately five million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and it is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
At the community forum, the lead organizer of Keystone Symposia’s Alzheimer’s scientific conference, Dr. John Q. Trojanowski of the University of Pennsylvania, will talk about the diet and lifestyle choices people can actively make to delay and perhaps even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Trojanowski is professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He pursues research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), frontotemporal degeneration and related disorders. He led an effort to prepare a 2009 PBS film on healthy brain aging and AD (“Alzheimer’s Disease – Facing the Facts”).
Dr. David M. Holtzman of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will discuss new treatment trials underway using antibodies against amyloid-ß (Aß), the molecule whose accumulation appears to initiate AD. His lab has also developed a way to monitor production and clearance of Aß in the central nervous system of mice and humans. They have found that Aß levels are dynamically regulated by synaptic activity and the sleep/wake cycle, leading them to theorize that sleep deprivation may contribute to AD risk. At Washington University, Holtzman is the Andrew and Gretchen Jones Professor and head of the department of neurology. In addition to his laboratory, administrative and teaching duties, Holtzman is involved in clinical and research activities at the Washington University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He has appeared on the Charlie Rose Brain Series on PBS.
Finally, Dr. Richard Mayeux of Columbia University will talk about family risk and genetic predisposition. Mayeux is professor of neurology, psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University as well as neurologist-in-chief and chair of the department of neurology at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Since 1989, he has led a multi-disciplinary, population-based, epidemiological investigation of Alzheimer’s and related conditions.
Brief presentations at the event will be followed by audience Q&A and panel discussion.
Keystone Symposia is a nonprofit organization convening open scientific conferences that was founded as UCLA Symposia in 1972. It has been headquartered in Silverthorne, Colo., since 1990 and is directed by a volunteer board of internationally acclaimed scientists. The organization convenes 50-60 open, international research conferences each year in diverse areas ranging from cancer and immunology to metabolic disease and neurobiology. More information on the organization and its conferences can be found at www.keystonesymposia.org and www.keystonesymposia.org/meetings, respectively.