UsAgainstAlzheimer's Blog

Posts by greg o'brien

December 09, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

Congress Should Act: Paid Leave for Caregivers Essential in the Battle with Dementia

“I got plenty of money; it’s just tied up in debt,” as the saying goes. Humor often has a way of getting to the point. The debt and associated burdens are mounting at staggering levels for caregivers of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, and other serious illnesses. There are an estimated 53 million family caregivers in the United States—16 million providing dementia care who too often are caught in an unsustainable conflict between caregiving and work responsibilities. I know this path well—first as a family caregiver, and now as one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and being helped by
October 28, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

A Letter to Doctors: Talk with Your Patients about Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Disease

Editor’s note: This blog post is an open letter to the medical community from UsAgainstAlzheimer’s board member Greg O’Brien, who suffers from and lives daily with Alzheimer’s, about how doctors can improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias; care in the early stages of the disease; and the critical importance of a candid dialogue about brain health. Dear Primary Care and Family Doctors, As T.S. Eliot has said: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.” Alzheimer’s has been
September 16, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

Who Pulled the Plug on Hope for an Alzheimer’s Treatment?

Hope springs eternal… But does it really today in this age of personal and professional second-guessing and gotcha? If we wait for perfection, is there hope? Wrote Alexander Pope, in the 1700s, considered among the foremost English poets in the 18th century: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never Is, but always To be blest. The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.” — An Essay On Man Pope, sadly, may not have been a poet before his time, but of his time. Time understandably changes perspectives—from the pure hope of
April 21, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

Memory: “A Bit of a Dunce”

“I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers “Consultin' with the rain…. “And my head I'd be scratchin' while “my thoughts were busy hatchin' “If I only had a brain….” —Yip Harbung, lyrics, ‘If I only had a brain,’ Wizard of Oz, 1939 While we all have a brain, one not made of straw, memory itself can be deceptive. “While memory is king, it is also a bit of a dunce,” says close friend Lisa Genova, Harvard-educated neuroscientist, author of yet another New York Times Bestseller, “Remember: The Science of Remembering and The Art of Forgetting", published through
April 06, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

COVID-19 Vs. Alzheimer’s: A Rocky Prizefight!

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, life in some ways is still a cross between “Groundhog Day” and “The Shining,”and a fleck of “Alice in Wonderland” where “nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t.” While some relief has arrived in the form of COVID-19 vaccinations, seeking the so-called “herd immunity,” finding a balance between conservative and liberal narratives, continues to be a moving target. Given growing concerns about COVID-19 variants worldwide, many are now saying we need a Marshall Plan for global vaccinations. I’ve never been a fear monger, but my late mother always