Staying Sharp heads for Miami

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To celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2010, the first Staying Sharp forum this year will be held this Saturday, March 20, at the Miami Science Museum as part of its Brain Fair 2010, organized by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Staying Sharp: Current Advances in Brain Research, launched in 1994, has been presented in more than 40 sessions to nearly 30,000 people across the country. The program continues to draw an audience because it delivers what its name promises–positive, understandable tips for leading a brain healthy lifestyle from a trustworthy source.

Staying Sharp forums are dynamic discussions by an expert panel followed by a Q&A session with the audience, covering topics including changes in the brain throughout life, memory loss, brain diseases and disorders, and maintaining cognitive function. The forums are presented by the Dana Alliance in partnership with NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community with a generous grant from the MetLife Foundation.

In Miami, expert panelist and Dana Alliance member Walter Bradley, DM, FRCP, will sign copies of his book Treating the Brain: What the Best Doctors Know.

Staying Sharp was designed for people who are 50 and older, but its message is a good one for all ages. Epidemiological studies in many countries looking at individuals from middle to old age have found four factors that may contribute to the maintenance of cognitive function: 

  • increased mental activity, 
  • increased physical activity, 
  • increased social engagement, and 
  • eating well and controlling vascular risk factors. (Vascular risk factors are blood pressure, cholesterol and stress. ) 

The experts on the panel also discuss research into the aging brain that is going on in laboratories around that nation. Topics discussed at recent events have also included stress, neurodegenerative diseases, depression, sleep, memory and learning, and quality of life and the audience also has plenty of opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. In fact, many panelists have said that the Q&A was the most enjoyable part of the program for them. They are interested to hear what people in their community think about brain research and are often impressed with the quality of the questions.

Reservations for Staying Sharp in Miami are not required; seating is available on a first come, first served basis. The forum will run from 11 am to 1 pm at the Miami Science Museum, 3280 South Miami Avenue.

The Staying Sharp program includes a series of live public forums, five educational booklets, and a DVD program that also may be viewed online. If you have questions about Staying Sharp, please contact us a stayingsharp@dana.org.

–Laura Reynolds

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