MapHabit’s Co-Founders, Matt Golden and Stuart Zola, were at the 19th Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) and the 5th Neurologic Disorders Summit (NDS) conference earlier this month in Los Angeles. MapHabit™ was actively engaged in poster presentations (AAIC) and platform presentations (NDS) and in numerous conversations and discussions with many of the key thought-leaders in the Alzheimer and dementia community. A few of the many important points of understanding that came out of the two conferences and our discussions included the following:
- Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has become one of the top health priorities in the U.S. More than 5 million Americans currently live with the disease and that number will continue to grow.
- There is no effective treatment and clinical trials targeting a protein called amyloid (the plaques of AD) have proven to be costly failures.
- Leaders of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Aging (NIA) believe we have to learn from these failed efforts, and they are bringing together pharma, biotech, philanthropies, and multiple academic institutions to work together in identifying new potential targets for intervention.
- There is a growing appreciation of the heterogeneity of Alzheimer’s, that is we cannot continue to think of the disease as “one-size-fits-all”. Instead, we need to think of Alzheimer’s as a spectrum, where individuals have different profiles of symptoms and underlying pathology, requiring personalized interventions (personalized medicine).
- A common theme heard in many presentations was the growing emphasis on studies of life-style behavioral changes that can be effective in reducing vulnerability to cognitive decline and dementia. These include studying diet, multiple forms of exercise, managing sleep, and social and intellectual engagement.
- An AAIC premeeting workshop on Technology and Dementia convened researchers using technological-based research and interventions, including mobile technology, home-based technology, and social networking in applying novel approaches as potential interventions for individuals with AD and AD-related dementias. MapHabit was seen as an innovative new approach to working effectively with memory-impaired individuals.
- The MapHabit™ System was a topic of discussion with many of the AAIC and NDS attendees and leaders, and the MapHabit team received a lot of recognition and positive comments throughout the conference. Dr. Zola was invited to chair the NDS session on Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and Mild Cognitive Impairment.
Overall, MapHabit™ was well-represented and well-recognized by participants at both conferences as being an innovative new company with a focus on evidence-based behavioral approaches that effectively enhance the quality of life for individuals with memory impairment and – importantly – for their caregivers as well.
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