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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute talks about the end of Alzheimer’s

Shane Bekian

Attendees of Reiman’s talk, “Preserving Memories: What it will take to end Alzheimer’s” listen as he speaks about the latest research and lifestyle interventions about the disease at the Westin La Paloma Resort on Feb. 7.

From the genetics that may be behind the memory menace to the toll that the disease could take on those who are caretakers, Eric Reiman’s lecture shed some light on his research surrounding Alzheimer’s disease.

“We have an opportunity to transform the care of patients and families with memory or thinking problems,” Reiman said. “We have a scandalous standard of care with families with dementia.”

The Feb. 7 lecture on the topic of Alzheimer’s disease presented by Reiman, the executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, was called “Preserving Memories: What it Will Take to End Alzheimer’s.”

“I found out about the event on NPR and I came in and I was on the waiting list and I managed to get in,” said Sharon Arkin, an alumnus of the UA.

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Arkin, also a physician who worked with a study at the UA herself, has been following the work of Reiman for over 20 years.

Reiman, the author of over 200 publications, said he hopes the talks in combination with treatment will be able to greatly reduce the risk of the disease. Reiman emphasized early intervention and prevention of the cognitive disorder.

Reiman took the last 30 minutes of the event to take questions from the audience in which he received questions from what dietary supplements can help combat the disease to whether there’s a correlation between childhood abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder to Alzheimer’s.

“Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll on the afflicted person and takes an intolerable toll on the family caregivers,” Reiman said.

Reiman states that over half of caregivers become clinically depressed and he believes that we need to find much better ways to uplift the families of those affected by this form of dementia.

Reiman also received an offer from Arkin who has done her own research on memory. Arkin who is currently doing a program at the Jewish Community Center in Tucson and she offered him a sample of 35 individuals who either have Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory impairment.

Reiman commended Arkin for her efforts and appreciated her offer for a sample.

“We need to find cheaper ways to invent a cheaper [positron emission tomography] scanner to find out if they have the markers for Alzheimer’s,” Reiman said.

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Reiman is also the director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium. He said that with advances in healthcare and other innovations in Arizona, there is an opportunity to establish the new national standard of care with those who are affected.

Reiman also spoke on the issues, stigma and innovations within the Alzheimer’s community.

“I do believe that these types of events are very beneficial to the community and we have a great community of outreach where we are all helping one another,” said Enid Stewart, a member of the community. 

Stewart was accompanied by her mother and was interested in further looking into what she learned at the event. Reiman is also a part of the Alzheimer’s prevention registry which was created by the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute.

“We want to engage the community and highlight the impact that the College of Medicine has had on the community over the last 50 years,” said Charles Cairns, Dean of the College of Medicine.

Banner and the College of Medicine have three more lectures on Feb. 14, 21 and 28. Each starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m. All lectures will be at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa at 3800 E. Sunrise Drive.

“I can tell you today, even though we don’t have a way to stop the disease, we have a way to improve the quality of life for families today, and everybody deserves that,” Reiman said.

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