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Alzheimers:  Fading into the Past?

On November 30th, Dr. Cherian Verghese will be joining us to provide an informative presentation of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Alzheimer's Disease, and the state of research today, entitled “Aging & Forgetting: Current Trends.” You are cordially invited to attend. I initially met Dr. Verghese through Barbara Sorin, an Episcopal chaplain who has provided this congregation with pastoral care assistance from time to time. As Cherian and I got to know one another, I was fascinated by his faith story, and discovered that MCI and Alzheimer's is not just a scientific issue, but a very personal one as both of his parents suffered from this disease. Dr. Verghese currently serves as the Medical Director for Keystone Clinical Studies and an Adjunct Professor for Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Temple University. He has worked in clinical trials that led to FDA approval of 7 new medications, and has served as the Principal Investigator in over 100 clinical trials for a variety of neurocognitive disorders. His presentation will include signs and symptoms, what goes on in the brain, and the efficacy of current medications. He'll also answer questions like:

  • What is a ‘Senior Moment’?

  • What is MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)?

  • What is the difference between the above?

  • Can MCI be seen as pre-Alzheimer’s Disease?

  • Can MCI be prevented or treated?

  • How do we manage and treat Alzheimer’s Disease?

  • What is the role of clinical trials in treating diseases, especially Alzheimer’s Disease?

There will be time for him to answer any other questions you may have as well. Your Member Care committee and the session of Media Presbyterian Church heartily endorsed this new partnership several months ago. This is a ‘partnership’ because Cherian will be joining us twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring – to accompany participants and inquirers on what may feel like a journey of despair. So often, families receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and there is nowhere left to go. What can be done? But Dr. Verghese partners with congregations to share groundbreaking new information, and also something potentially more powerful: Hope. Cherian believes we are on the brink of revolutionary changes in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Disease modifying treatments for both of these disorders and others, can become a reality only when the medical/scientific world forms collaborative relationships with families and care providers. It often starts, not in the clinical setting of a doctor’s office, but in the warm environment of your church that is here to offer information, guidance, and support. We are looking forward to seeing you. Best, Nikki

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