Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, A+E Networks to Host NYC ‘Brain Health Summit’

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Maria Shriver

A first-of-its-kind event, “A Women’s Health Summit: It Starts With the Brain,” set for today in New York, will focus on women’s brain health and Alzheimer’s disease.

The summit is being co-organized by award-winning journalist Maria Shriver, founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks.

“Now more than ever, we need activists raising their voices on women’s issues,” Dubuc said about Shriver in a press release. “Maria has become one of the leading voices and advocates on Alzheimer’s and women’s health, and Lifetime is proud to partner with her to shine a light on these issues that impact millions of women and families all across America.”

Shriver, whose 2010 article, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,” was the first to report that Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women, received the Alzheimer’s Association’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year. Thanks to her contribution, we now know that two-thirds of all Americans with Alzheimer’s are women, though the experts are unsure why.

“Women in their early 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are breast cancer, but most women are unaware of this increased risk,” Shriver said. “By convening a summit on women’s brains and exploring what they can do to protect them at an early age — as early as 30 and 40 — we hope we can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in women.”

Shriver was also the executive producer of the Academy Award-winning film “Still Alice,” in which Julianne Moore portrayed a woman affected by early-onset Alzheimer’s.

The New York summit, to be livestreamed on Shriver’s Facebook page at 12 p.m. Eastern Time, is being organized with help from official media partner Lifetime. It coincides with the beginning of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month. Participants include Dr. Dale Bredesen, founding president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging; Dr. Lisa Mosconi, associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell/NY Presbyterian; Dr. Martha Clare Morris, director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging; and Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation. Find the full list of participants here.

The summit also offers a platform to hear the results of a new national poll on the state of women’s brain health today. That survey was co-sponsored by the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank.