Dementia Colloquium – Recordings, Transcript and Comments

The Class of ’69 hosted a Class Colloquium addressing Alzheimer’s, dementia and other degenerative diseases and led by two experts from the staff of Mount Sinai in NYC.  See the original announcement for background on the speakers and program.

Here is the video of the event.

Several people left comments in the chat (or sent to me by email) — and I’ve added them to Comments following the body of this post.

The transcript of the talk is here for those who prefer to read.


4 thoughts on “Dementia Colloquium – Recordings, Transcript and Comments”

  1. Thank you for setting up the call today!  It was outstanding and the format was excellent, separating us into discussion groups by college at the end.

    At least 3 of us who were on the call have independently developed great respect for Posit Science Brain Fitness Training.

    I’ve been tracking Posit Science for more than 15 years.  Initially I was skeptical, but have become a strong advocate.  Dr. Gandy stated that people who do brain training improve at those exercises but their improvement does not generalize.  Posit Science has proven the opposite.  For years I’ve commented that the two most exciting things about Posit Science are that:

    1. It generalizes to widespread daily activities and
    2. People can see the differences in their everyday lives.  (For this reason, I believe the results in practice could exceed those from Posit Science’s myriad of independently-run, double-blind peer-reviewed studies with active control groups.  People who identify improved cognitive skill will also be aware if/when it dissipates, hence will do booster exercises that will improve their skill set again, albeit not to previous highs, in my opinion.  I expect a decreasing sawtooth function.)

    I contrast Posit Science with the many word puzzles I do, crossword puzzles, jumbles, etc.  Those word puzzles don’t even generalize between themselves.  If I do jumbles for a while, then stop, my jumble skill set atrophies even if I am doing other word puzzles.

    Lumosity, perhaps Posit Science’s best-known competitor, lacks Posit Science ‘s scientific rigor.  (I could share a funny story about that.)  I’ve seen studies that “disproved” the effectiveness of brain training, however none of the ones I’ve seen have compared to Posit Science.  They’ve sidestepped the scientific leader in the field to compare to competitors such as Lumosity.

    Perhaps you could forward this message to Dr. Gandy for his consideration.  The following points are explained more fully below my signature block.

    Dr. Jerry Edwards (University of South Florida)1 found 29% less dementia, over a 10-year period, among people trained with Posit Science software and a 45% drop for those who did a little “booster” training.

    This study’s2 authors conclude that Posit Science training improves cognition and transfers to daily activities, improving functional outcomes.

    71% of participants retained cognitive benefits for at least 10 years after training for merely 10 hours3, because brain fitness, like learning to ride a bike, wears off very slowly.  Posit Science training significantly reduces falls4.  Posit Science helps people with a variety of conditions including stroke, mild cognitive impairment, cancer, heart conditions, Parkinson’s, MS, schizophrenia, depression, etc.5 and it improves attitude and other aspects of life for healthy adults6; etc.

    Australian Alzheimer’s researchers observed that “Multiple peer-reviewed articles evaluating Posit Science programs have fulfilled the gold standard for clinical trials.”

    To learn more, please read below my signature block or contact me, or listen to The Society of Actuaries Interviews Claude Thau about Brain Fitness Training (22:38).


    Claude Thau

    We’re in it for the Long-Term; We Care SM

    Phone direct: 913-707-8863
    Click here to connect with Claude on LinkedIn

    1See attached 4-page “Edwards – LT 29% drop in dementia” (full paper).  Learn more about the ACTIVE study and how Posit Science reduces risk of dementia and other related studies.

    2The January 2018 Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews analysis studied Posit Science’s Useful Field of Vision Training and concluded “UFOV training should be implemented among older adults to improve real-world functional outcomes and well-being” and that “We face a choice to either dismiss cognitive training to preserve existing theories and paradigms, or to update such paradigms to accommodate new data.”

    3The attached 1-page “BrainHQ…” shows 71% of people who used Posit Science training, for merely 10 hours, retained cognitive benefits for at least 10 years.  As noted above, brain fitness, like learning to ride a bike, wears off very slowly.

    4The attached 2-page “Fall, Balance..” explains why Posit Science training significantly reduces falls.

    5The attached 3-page “Health Conditions …” provides evidence that Posit Science helps people with such conditions.  The variety of conditions link points to more than 125 articles, grouped by topic.

    6The attached 3-page “Healthy Adults…” report lists 70+ studies about attitude and other healthy aspects.

    Posit Science brain fitness training is the first non-invasive of increasing acetylcholine in the brain.

    Click here to see The Institute of Medicine’s suggestions for evaluating brain fitness programs.  See Posit Science’s scientific team and collaborators.

    Click here to Sign up for Posit Science’s monthly newsletter.

  2. from Miriam Mills, MD: How is synaptic integrity monitored/measured?

    from Harry Forsdick: Have people diagnosed with ALZ recently increased or has the publicity of those diagnoses increased.

    from Michael Baum: What do you think about the idea that Alzheimer’s is “diabetes type 3?”

    Merrill Mason: Please discuss the state of care in the US of those with dementia.

    David Scott: Is there a role for APOE-4 testing?

    Phil Laughlin: let’s jump to what we can do to slow the progression of our dementia.

    Linda Rodman: pls do give us the 30,000 foot view of impact of dementia on society and what being done

    Stuart Brogadir: Is there a “normal” level of cognitive decline with age that should not trigger eval? Forgetting where I left my keys, for example. What if a CT shows atrophy? When should it be done?

    Frank Aronson: You took the words our of my mouth, Stuart; how do we distinguish between “normal” forgetfulness (that does exist, right??) and something pathological??

    Jack Weiss: Please discuss the relationship between Alzheimer’s and other diseases that impair cognition- in particular Parkinson’s and Lewy body disease.

    Stuart Brogadir: Please comment on the connection between tinnitus, hearing loss, and dementia. Do hearing aids help?

    Walter Rose: Is dementia a potential side effect of statins?

    Claude Thau: Perhaps this will be covered later in the presentation. I’m a huge fan of Posit Science, which can delay cognitive impairment. AQT is a quick check test (using Multiple Rapid Automatic Naming Measures) used in Scandinavia. I think Dr. Gandy may have commented on it in the past. The Integrated Cognitive Assessment seems to be similar to AQT. Comments?

    Ernie Godshalk: Is it possible to determine if someone is likely to develop dementia and when. Is that possible? Is it useful?

    Howard Newman: Is there a role in “brain training” to take advantage of brain plasticity to slow down the progression of either dementia or Alzheimer’s?

    Jonathan Hoffman: Has the Japanese experience with gerontology anything to teach us?

    Leonard Horwitz: Concerning the mismatch between numbers of caregivers to the number of “elderly” based on increased disability with age: is there any truth to observations like “80 is the new 70,” that older people are percentage-wise not as disabled as previous generations of people their age?

    Merrill Mason: My husband is in the early stages of dementia. Despite good long term health insurance, we are considering moving to Mexico to get improved, compassionate care for my husband. We are heading there in 2 weeks to spend the winter and explore the long term care options and out of pocket expenses.

    Steve Haworth: Me too, Merrill.

    Peter Sheckman: Please talk about the fixes – what are your ideas? [later]
    Prior question was not clear: Sean, please talk about solutions to the care giving system.

    Claude Thau: I have severe chronic arthritis in my neck, but it does not hurt. So my primary physician told me to come back when it hurts so he can give me pain medication. So I found an alternative medicine doctor who modified my diet with positive results.

    Claude Thau: I specialize in long-term care insurance. As you note, some people are unable to get it. But there are more options than has been suggested in this call.

    Frank Aronson: I would question what I think I heard about life expectancy in this country being equal to that in Cuba. It is, overall, 78 now in this country, right (per something said earlier in this session)?? What is it in Cuba?? What about population subgroup stats??

    Claude Thau: Frank, according to, Cuba’s life expectancy is 78.98

    Jonathan Hoffman: I’ve read that good REM sleep is beneficial to flushing out brain plaque. Any substance to this?

    Steve Haworth: Is this a forum for discussing state assisted suicide laws that don’t accommodate people suffering from forms of dementia?

    Wayne Willis: Yes, Steve, I agree — when is assisted suicide OK. Dr. Morrison, the Head of Palliative Care, might have good insights.

    Harold Mancusi-Ungaro: Not remembering names seems to be common in our age group. Is it related to aging or changes in social interaction, moving, etc?

    Steve Bookbinder: Can you speak about the relationship between coronary artery disease and the deterioration of brain health, including the use of statins.

    Miriam Mills: My mother had Alzheimer’s and I got the 23 and me testing done and was told I had inherited one copy of the Alzheimer’s gene. What stock do you put in that testing? They siad it increased my risk by twice the normal population.

    Phil Laughlin: Please expand on your comment re the benefit of inflammation control

    Samuel Menaged: What sort of diet is recommended?

    Claude Thau: Posit Science has proven that it DOES generalize. I can share info if people are interested.

    Gavin Bingham: To what extent is a decline in logical reasoning – a reduced ability to do mathematical proofs – a sign of dementia?

    Clifford Berken: You mentioned inflammation as perhaps a factor that in part explains Alzheimer’s propensity in women. In premature newborns with necrotizing enterocolitis, a systemic inflammatory disease, there is evidence of microglial activation in the brain with white matter destruction. Is there a parallel in adults with systemic inflammation?

  3. Great, great presentations, thank you!
    I watched the video after the event itself (ie just now), and found that it answered a number of areas of uncertainty. Mainly, however, in the negative: there are no secrets or silver bullets – the potential of Posit Science aside! – and nothing important that I didn’t pretty much already know or do. Exercise, diet, social connections. I find that being reminded of what one already “knows” is very useful!
    Saying that isn’t a criticism, on the contrary. I’m reassured that I’m already generally well informed about the A word. I’m recommending this video to a bunch of my Saybrook ’73 friends.
    Thanks very much!

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