Arizona experts fight to disrupt dementia

Arizona experts fight to disrupt dementia

February 25, 2019

  • Dementia

    Free public forum explores scientific, medical and community Alzheimer’s advancements.

    Courtesy of the City of Tempe


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  • Dementia

    Eric Reiman is the executive director of the Banner Alzheimer's Institute. 


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  • Dementia

    Diego Mastroeni is an assistant research professor at the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center. 


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February 25, 2019

TEMPE, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2019) – Arizona has the second-highest growth rate for Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. Researchers, scientists and other community experts are working together to disrupt dementia and end Alzheimer’s disease before losing another generation. Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell initiated Dementia Friendly Tempe in 2016 to help make the city a livable community for people with dementia and their care partners. Join experts as they highlight why there is hope now and for the future during the fourth-annual Dementia Friendly Tempe Summit focused on Redefining Dementia.

Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that takes an incredible toll on the affected person and their families. “There is a sense of urgency to find effective therapies to treat the disease or prevent the symptoms from ever developing,” said Eric M. Reiman, MD, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute executive director. “It is a tall order that requires collaboration from academic and scientific industries and Arizona researchers are leading the way in the endeavor.”

During the Dementia Friendly Tempe Summit, Reiman will highlight the progress made in the scientific fight against Alzheimer’s disease and work underway to find effective prevention therapies as soon as possible. Diego Mastroeni, PhD, assistant research professor, ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Research Center at the Biodesign Institute, will explore their work to fight Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In his presentation, “The Fight Against Age-Associated Neurodegeneration,” he will also talk about current studies looking at other age-related neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease

“Alzheimer’s disease is more than a neurological condition that effects the individual; this is a disorder that unbiasedly destroys the lives of all those involved, especially the caregivers,” said Mastroeni. “The importance of Mayor Mitchell’s initiative cannot be understated. As the world’s population ages, we will face significant challenges. One of the greatest challenges will be how to care for those you love so deeply, while not losing yourself in the process.”

Mayor Mark Mitchell, a family caregiver to his mother who has Alzheimer’s, will give an update about the progress of dementia friendly programs within the City of Tempe and the community. "I am so proud of the progress the Dementia Friendly Tempe initiative has made since its inception. In four short years, we have trained more than 3,000 new Dementia Friends and have started making progress on our goal to train all of our city employees," said Mitchell.  "This summer, we kicked this process off by prioritizing training for our first responders. I look forward to continuing Dementia Friendly Tempe's momentum."

The fourth Annual Dementia Friendly Tempe Summit – Redefining Dementia is 10 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Edward Jones Training Facility, 8333 S. River Parkway in Tempe. It is free, with registration required at BannerAlz.eventbrite.com or call (602) 839-6850. Respite care will be provided to registered attendees who bring their loved one living with dementia as needed.

About Banner Alzheimer’s Institute

Through its research and care, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute is dedicated to the goal of ending Alzheimer’s disease without losing another generation. Founded in 2006 by Banner Health, one of the country’s largest nonprofit health care systems, BAI has a three-fold focus: to conduct revolutionary studies in the detection, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s; to set a national standard of patient and family care; and to forge scientific collaborations that bring together institutions and disciplines internationally. For more information visit www.banneralz.org; or to support our programs and services go to give.bannerhealth.com/Alzheimers.

About Biodesign Institute

The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University integrates leading-edge research in biology, engineering and computer science to address challenging problems posed by disease, depletion of natural resources and threats to our national security. Understanding and emulating nature is essential to solving these problems and is the unifying thread in the highly-diverse research of the Institute. The collaborative structure of the Institute is designed to accelerate discoveries and translate them into real-world applications in healthcare, engineering and environmental sustainability. For information, visit www.biodesign.asu.edu.

About Dementia Friendly Tempe

Dementia Friendly Tempe, part of Dementia Friendly America, is the first and only dementia friendly city in Arizona. The City of Tempe partners with Banner Alzheimer's Institute to bring programs, information, resources to help community members learn and understand more about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia-related diseases. Learn more at www.Tempe.gov/DFT.

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