Women’s Brains – Our Grey Matter, Matters!! An Update on the Women’s Brain Health Initiative

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What a year 2015 has been for the The Women’s Brain Health Initiative –(WBHI)  a leader in the fight against women’s brain aging disorders and I am proud member of the board of directors.

There have been many exciting developments at Women’s Brain Health Initiative this year. We are creating a global discussion on women’s brain health by increasing awareness in Canada and the United States. In March, we launched WBHI in New York City, which made a huge impact on awareness and support. The event was held at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen location, supported by co-hosts Martha Stewart, Trudie Style, Wendi Murdoch, Ivanka Trump, Arianna Huffington, Tamara Mellon and Barbara Walters. Yes, it was a wonderful night and an impressive group of women who came together to raise awareness about how as women we need to rethink our habits and make better long-term choices for our families and ourselves.

The exposure led to an opportunity to work with Maria Shriver, a tireless spokesperson for women’s brain health and brain aging disease prevention. And this fall, we held a similar wonderful night in Los Angeles supported by Anne Heche, Molly Sims and Camilla Belle among others. So the word is spreading, and by leveraging our amazing relationships and extending our reach to into the US, the momentum is growing everyday.

The exposure led to an opportunity to work with Maria Shriver, a tireless spokesperson for women’s brain health and brain aging disease prevention. And this fall, we held a similar wonderful night in Los Angeles supported by Anne Heche, Molly Sims and Camilla Belle among others. So the word is spreading, and by leveraging our amazing relationships and extending our reach to into the US, the momentum is growing everyday.

At the heart of this is not only to create awareness but to combat brain aging diseases that affect women by focusing on research and the role gender plays in brain health and scientific outcomes.   For the first time in Canada, for instance, sex and gender will now be taken into account in all aspects of research from the cell to lab studies.

And we are most excited about the opportunity to collaborate as The Women’s Brain Health Initiative Canada, WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s USA, Alzheimer’s Research UK and 21st Century BrainTrust® join to form the Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health to raise awareness of women’s brain health challenges and significantly expand funding for sex-based brain health research, that benefits both men and women.

The latest research confirms dementia develops faster in women than in men, women are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s, and not just because we live longer. What is not clear, though, is why. If scientists can figure out the mechanism that causes more Alzheimer’s disease in women, they might be able to develop treatments that halt the process. This is the type of research the Global Alliance will fund, for a healthier outcome for both men and women.

The Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health will define a scientific agenda, drive new funding for research, and convince scientific leaders to assure the most rapid and effective scientific strategies in women’s brain health. It will also raise awareness at the public and private levels of the health, economic and social tsunami that will result without gender-sensitive focus and investment.

Medisys Health Group, Inc. is an active supporter, involved with the Women’s Brain Health Initiative organization by sponsoring speaker’s events, participating in ongoing efforts for awareness and education, as well as placing a special focus on women’s health issues.

www.womensbrainhealth.org or to join the conversation @womensbrains

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The Women’s Brain Health Inititive ” More studies are needed”

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Almost 70% of new Alzheimer’s sufferers will be women. What makes this fact even more alarming, according to the Women’s Brain Health Initiative is that there is little understanding of why.  AND why there are few studies currently being undertaken to explore the discrepancy!

A newly created organization, The Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI) intends to change that (www.womensbrainhealth.org). WBHI is dedicated to raising funds for research and education on women’s aging brains. 

Consider these research findings:

 Women seem to be more prone to dementia and depression, yet neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease strike more men. 

— A US neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Amen compared 26,000 brain scans; women had increased activity-shown by blood flow – in 112 of the 128 regions measured. But more active does not mean better, he says.  ‘Male and female brains are different.  Women have busy brains; men’s are a lot quieter.  (we knew that!!) One pattern is not better than the other, they are just different.’ * source (WBHI)

—  You are more likely to inherit Alzheimer’s disease from your mother than you are from your father.

Excitable brains give women migraines. Migraines affect up to three times more women than men-usually attributed to fluctuations in hormones.  But research conducted by Dr. Andrew Charles, director of the headache research and treatment program at the University of California, sites another factor—the stimulus to light.  Men need three times greater stimulus to light than women to produce the same effect.

 Much of the research on women’s brains is relatively new.  There is still so much to learn.   I intend to keep you updated on the work this valuable organization is doing and on ways to help keep our brains healthy.   If you want to get in contact with WBHI, sign up for their newsletter, or to donate, visit their website, www.womensbrainhealth.org