Sleep Awareness Week Interview with Clifford Saper

Sleep Disorder

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Who wouldn’t enjoy an extra hour or two of sleep before climbing out of bed and getting ready for work? A good night’s rest, or lack thereof, not only contributes to the following day’s productivity levels and emotions, but also its long-term effects are linked to cognitive and cardiovascular health. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep each night, and research points sleeping less than seven to eight hours each night to health risks such as stroke, obesity, cancer, and high blood pressure.

For National Sleep Awareness Week (April 23 – 29), we asked sleep expert Clifford B. Saper, M.D., Ph.D., to discuss the importance of sleep hygiene, sleep disorders, and current research at Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, where he conducts his lab research and heads the neurology department. Saper is also a Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member and past Dana Foundation grantee.

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Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts

In the United States, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every minute; around the world, it’s every four seconds. “It is the biggest epidemic we have in this country,” says Harvard University’s Rudolph Tanzi, “I’m shocked that people aren’t panicked about what this disease is going to do to the country or to their families.”

This Wednesday (January 25) at 10 pm ET, PBS is premiering “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts,” an urgent wake-up call about the national threat posed by the disease. The documentary includes interviews with doctors, caregivers, and longtime researchers of the disease, such as Dana Alliance member Tanzi.

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Sondheim and Pinker on Music and Emotion

When it comes to explanations for human behavior, preeminent experimental psychologist Steven Pinker, Ph.D., adamantly believes that genes matter. When others question this position, claiming that attributing emotion and behavior to genetics is merely a way of evading responsibility, Pinker will often offer a cultural rather than a scientific response:

Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,

You gotta understand

It’s just our bringing up-ke,

That gets us out of hand.

Our mothers are all junkies,

Our fathers all are drunks.

Golly Moses naturally we’re punks

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“TIME 100” Recognizes Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D.

Last week, Time Magazine published its annual list of the world’s most influential pioneers. We are pleased to announce that Dana Alliance member, Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., has been deemed a “TIME 100” honoree for his leading research on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Tanzi currently serves as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium, Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as head of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project.

From left, Rudy Tanzi, with Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, in a photo from the Rockstars of Science series that first ran in GQ magazine in 2009.(Geoffrey Beene Gives Back/GQ)

From left, Rudy Tanzi, with Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, in a photo from the Rockstars of Science series that first ran in GQ magazine in 2009.(Geoffrey Beene Gives Back/GQ)

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