Alzheimer's Patient Advocates Launch Free Courses Promoting Brain Health

The Brain Health Academy offers free, evidence-based courses for health and wellness professionals about how to help people reduce their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s

Washington, D.C., May 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today UsAgainstAlzheimer’s announced the launch of The Brain Health Academy (BHA), a new series of free online courses designed in partnership with organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and the American Heart Association.  The Academy is designed to equip healthcare providers and wellness professionals with the knowledge and resources to help people reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. This includes helping people understand the connection between lifestyle interventions and brain health. People interested in learning more or enrolling can do so here

“Healthcare providers sometimes tell us that they don’t know what to tell their patients about Alzheimer’s,” said Russ Paulsen, Chief Operating Officer of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “They should tell their patients how to reduce their risks, because the only thing better than finding a cure for Alzheimer’s is preventing it in the first place. The Brain Health Academy helps them learn how to have those conversations.”

The Brain Health Academy includes six courses covering the science and interventions for key modifiable risk factors for dementia, including nutrition, sleep, social isolation and loneliness, physical inactivity, and hypertension. Developed in collaboration with highly respected partners who have expertise in each area, the courses will be taught by preeminent experts in the field using content drawn from the latest research. Continuing education credit will be offered through a partnership with the American Society on Aging.

"We are learning that approximately 1 in 2 adults will die with or from dementia. We are an aging society, and brain health impacts all of us. ASA is excited for this partnership to continue important conversations about driving better health for all of us," said Peter Kaldes, President & CEO of American Society on Aging.

Brain Health Academy launches on June 15, 2022, and courses will be taught on the second Wednesday of each month. Each of the 1-hour seminars will be recorded and available for viewing on-demand for up to 60 days after the live presentation. The first course in the series, an overview, “Understanding Inequities in Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias”, takes place on June 15 from 1-2 p.m. ET. Those who are interested can learn more and enroll here. See below for a full schedule of upcoming sessions.


June 15: Understanding Inequities in Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias.

Partner: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

African American people and Latino people run a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's and related dementias. This introductory overview helps participants understand the factors behind brain health inequities and provides health and wellness professionals with actionable guidance and resources to implement culturally competent risk modification strategies with the people and communities they serve.

Expert Presenters:

  • Adriana Perez, PhD, CRNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, FGSA, Assistant Professor, UPenn School of Nursing and Senior Fellow at UPenn Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
  • Stephanie Monroe, J.D., Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UsAgainstAzlheimer’s


July 23: Nutrition and Dementia

Partner: American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Poor nutrition is a major health problem that affects every part of the body, including the brain. In fact, it is among the top risk factors for dementia. This course provides strategies to assess diet quality and use that information to help individuals make healthy dietary modifications to build cognitive resilience. If you are a nurse, nutritionist, or fitness professional, this course is a must for putting patients and clients on a path toward a healthier body and mind.

Expert presenters:

  • Drs. Dean & Ayesha Sherzai, Co-Directors, Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, Loma Linda University


August 17: Sleep and Dementia

Partner: American Academy of Sleep Medicine  

It’s no secret that sleep is important and most Americans don’t get enough of it. So, how can healthcare and wellness professionals work with patients and clients to prioritize sleep and stick to a long-term plan? Learn about the association between sleep and dementia, effective screening tools, and strategies to optimize quality sleep.

Expert presenters:

  • Erik K. St. Louis, M.D, M.S., Co-Director of the Center for Sleep Medicine and Director of the Mayo Sleep Behavior and Neurophysiology Research Laboratory, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.


September 14: Social Isolation, Loneliness and Dementia

Partners: Humana & USAging

Throughout the pandemic we have seen the impact loneliness and social isolation have had on people’s mental health. But studies also show these are also risk factors for cognitive decline. This course will cover validated tools to assess social activity and loneliness and provide intervention strategies to improve mental health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Expert presenters:

  • Lydia Harris RN, CCM, HtD, Concierge Nurse Care Manager, SFL HSO, Humana
  • Leigh Ann Eagle, BS, Chief Operations Officer of the Living Well Center of Excellence and Director, Health & Wellness Program at MAC, Inc.


October 19: Physical Activity and Dementia

Partner: Physical Activity Alliance

Sponsor: Silver Sneakers by Tivity Health

Physical inactivity is one of the known modifiable risk factors for dementia. People who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function and have a lowered risk of developing dementia. This course moves from knowledge to application by providing actionable guidance and tools to help providers effectively address this opportunity with patients and families. 

Expert presenters:  

  • Liz Joy, MD, MPH, FACSM, FAMSSM, Intermountain Healthcare, Senior Medical Director, Wellness and Nutrition; Office of Health Promotion and Wellness and Adjunct Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine
  • Laurie Whitsel, Ph.D., Vice President of Policy Research and Translation for the American Heart Association (AHA)
  • Dr. Justin P. Barclay, DBA, CAP, Vice President, Analytics, Consumer Research & Data Strategy, Tivity Health


November 16: Hypertension and Dementia

Partner: American Heart Association

Learn how managing blood pressure can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and hear recommendations for applying the latest science in clinical practice and community education.

Expert presenters:  

  • Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil, immediate past president of AHA; Professor (tenured), Neurology and Epidemiology, Chief, Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Sciences, Columbia University Irving Medical Center 

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About UsAgainstAlzheimer’s
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s exists to conquer Alzheimer’s disease. We take on the toughest problems; bring all of “Us” together to break down barriers; advocate for research that will speed treatments to market; and drive changes that matter most to people living with the disease. We will not rest until brain-span equals lifespan - for everyone.


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