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Author and expert to speak at OHSU: You can prevent Alzheimer’s

UCLA professor to speak Feb. 20; first lecturer in OHSU’s 2012 Brain Awareness Season

More than 5.4 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease — and another American is diagnosed with the disease every 70 seconds.

Right now, there is no cure. But you can prevent Alzheimer's disease, says Gary Small, M.D., a UCLA professor and director of the UCLA Longevity Center. In fact, he's written the book on it. Small is co-author of "The Alzheimer's Prevention Program -- Keep your brain healthy for the rest of your life."

And Small is coming to Oregon to talk about his work.

He will be the first lecturer in the OHSU Brain Institute's popular Brain Awareness Season, celebrating its 13th year in 2012. Small will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, at the Newmark Theater, 1111 S.W. Broadway. (More information on the series’ six lectures and tickets.)

Small has co-authored more than 500 scientific works, has co-authored the New York Times’ best seller, "The Memory Bible," and has appeared frequently on the Today Show, Good Morning America, PBS and CNN. Scientific American magazine has named him one of the world's top innovators in science and technology.

“We’re excited that Dr. Small is kicking off the Brain Awareness Season lecture series. His message of prevention is timely, and it’s a message that we closely ascribe to here at the Layton Center,” said Jeff Kaye, M.D., director of the Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at OHSU. The Layton Center is one of 30 U.S. Alzheimer’s disease centers supported by the National Institute on Aging.

Small’s lecture will be followed Feb. 27 by a lecture by Henry Greely, director of the Stanford Law School Center for Law & Bioscience. Greely will speak about the intersection of the law, ethics and increased scientific understanding of the brain. Recent neuroscience advances allow us to explain, predict and even control aspects of human behavior. Should we? And when should we?

Other speakers in the Brain Awareness Season include:

  • March 12: Story Landis, Ph.D., director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She will speak about chronic inflammation in the body and neuroinflammation in the brain, and how medical researchers are rethinking their assumptions about what makes us sick and looking for ways to treat inflammation.
  • March 19: Alan Leshner, Ph.D., executive director, American Association for the Advancement of Science. He will speak about the social and ethical issues that come with advances in neuroscience.
  • April 10: Jonah Lehrer, journalist and author of "Imagine - How Creativity Works." He will speak about creativity and the brain: what it is, who has it and how we achieve it.
  • April 26: Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She will speak about addiction, how it starts, what it is and what neuroscience is learning that might help us prevent it.

Each of the lectures except for those by Lehrer and Volkow will be at 7 p.m. at the Newmark Theater. The Lehrer and Volkow lectures will be at 7 p.m. in the Oregon Ballroom of the Oregon Convention Center, at 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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