Global Alliance for Women’s Brain Health Addresses the Cognitive Toll of Care on its Women’s Health Crisis Agenda

TORONTO—The Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health today hosted an issue roundtable and the launch of Phase II of the Health e-Brain Study, investigating the impact the caregiving experience has on brain and behavioral health at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto.

The luncheon, convened by Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI), WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s (WA2), Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) and 21st Century Brain Trust (21CBT) – members of the Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health – was a clarion call for international stakeholders to harness a collaborative spirit and a unified strategy to spotlight solutions for Alzheimer’s disease, particularly for women who are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s and experience the emotional and physical tolls of caregiving.

"Women are more vulnerable to Alzheimer's, and not just because we live longer. What is not clear, though, is why," said Lynn Posluns, President, Women's Brain Health Initiative. "If efforts like the Health e-Brain Initiative can further our knowledge and understanding about the experiences of women, both as patient and caregiver, maybe we can slow the process.”

The Health e-Brain Phase II launch dovetailed with the theme of the luncheon, which also featured a host of speakers presenting on a variety of topics. Paula Garrett, Senior Director, Alzheimer’s Global Marketing at Eli Lilly and Company, opened the program and shared the company’s new Alzheimer’s Readiness Project and its commitment to the Alzheimer’s field before introducing Lynn Posluns, host of the global gathering and Founder, President and Board Chair of Women’s Brain Health Initiative. Dr. Yves Joanette, IA Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Chair of the World Dementia Council, spoke about the importance of addressing the specific challenges of women and dementia at all levels, and within a global perspective. Dr. David Reynolds, ARUK, spoke about Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS) and their findings relative to gender differences in incidence in the United Kingdom.

Jill Lesser, President of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, led a discussion about best practices for early diagnosis and overcoming barriers to diagnosis, and preparing for new drugs on the market.

“Today’s launch of the second phase of the Health e-Brain Study is an exciting opportunity to join forces to better understand the toll caregiving takes on health,” says Stacy Haller, President and CEO, BrightFocus Foundation.

“As a community, we are committed to finding relief for women and those they love affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Phyllis Ferrell, Vice President of Lilly’s Global Alzheimer’s Team. “It is critical for all of us in the industry to come together and find meaningful solutions to this epidemic, and Lilly is proud to partner on this important initiative.”

Statistics underscore the impact of the disease on women. Women are twice as likely to suffer from dementia, and about 70% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women, which impacts their participation in the job market. Moreover, half of women caregivers alter or have to stop working due to the demands of caregiving for their loved one. In addition, 75% worry about caregiving’s toll on their own health.

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About the Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health
Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health was created in 2015 by WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s USA, The Women’s Brain Health Initiative Canada, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and 21st Century BrainTrust® to raise awareness of women’s brain health challenges and significantly expand funding for sex-based brain health research, that benefits both men and women. It will define a scientific agenda, drive new funding for research, and convene scientific leaders to assure the most rapid and effective scientific strategies in women’s brain health. It will also raise awareness at the public and private level on the urgent health, economic and social tsunami that will result without gender-sensitive focus and investment. Learn more brainhealthally.org

Contact: Tim Tassa

Phone: 202-263-2580

Email: ttassa@usagainstalzheimers.org

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