Lisa Genova is the talented author behind the book and movie entitled Still Alice, about an accomplished Harvard professor (Alice) who navigates memory issues, a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and subsequent related health changes. As a former college professor and person with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, I was intrigued by her book topic and had been told it was a must read. However, I was not prepared for the emotional journey I was about to embark upon. The book and movie lead you down the emotional roller coaster of finding out about a serious health condition and the steps you may decide to take to either prepare your friends and family for the news or to conceal the diagnosis from them.
However, Lisa Genova does not want the message of Alzheimer’s disease to be one of sadness and decline. She recently released a Ted Talk discussing another view of Alzheimer’s. On the night before her talk Lisa wrote the following in her blog,
“My intention for my TED talk tomorrow:
To teach the people in the audience what we know about the neuroscience of Alzheimer’s,
to explain to them what we can do about preventing it.
To be clear and animated, dynamic and interesting.
To show people that Alzheimer’s isn’t inevitable,
that they can have control over their brain health,
that even if they get Alzheimer’s someday, they are still human beings worthy of love and joy….”. 1
Lisa’s Ted Talk offers an alternate path from the slow decline experienced by her main character, Alice. In her Ted Talk, Lisa discusses addressing Alzheimer’s through preventive and early stage lifestyle modifications, which includes many of the research topics that our RE:mind program is based upon.
The medical field recognizes that diet, exercise, stress, and other lifestyle behaviors are impactful for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. With the recent attention paid to Alzheimer’s from a variety of celebrities, professional athletes, journalists, and authors (like Lisa Genova) more people are evaluating and discussing the modifiable lifestyle factor research surrounding Alzheimer’s disease now too. As Lisa points out in her talk, Alzheimer’s disease is not an inevitable part of aging that we have to accept.
Click this link to listen for yourself to Lisa Genova’s informative and engaging Ted Talk “What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s”.2
Then, come back to our website to learn about how our RE:mind program can help you to implement some of these changes she discussed. Alzheimer’s and dementia are not an inevitable part of aging. As Lisa’s Ted Talk points out, there are steps we can take to protect the health of our brain and there is hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
- Lisa Genova. The Power of Intention: My experience at TED. http://lisagenova.com/the-power-of-intention-my-experience-at-ted/ Accessed May 16, 2017.
- TED Ideas Worth Spreading. Lisa Genova: What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s. http://www.ted.com/talks/lisa_genova_what_you_can_do_to_prevent_alzheimer_s#t-317965. Accessed May 16, 2017.
Image Credit: www.lisagenova.com