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Florida International: Brings Together National Experts to Discuss Brain Health

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 50 million individuals are currently living with dementia. Studies have shown that while an estimated 10 percent of Alzheimer’s cases are genetic, 90 percent of cases are sporadic with unknown direct causes. Research is finding that the causes range from lifestyle habits to environmental toxins.

The Florida International University Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, in partnership with the FIU Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED), recently hosted a symposium to discuss research regarding brain health and the promotion of interventions that could help alleviate the crisis related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“When I started in public health, the environmental aspects of brain health were completely ignored – it was all genetics. It has only been in the last 20 years that we have been discussing gene-environment interactions,” Stempel College Dean Tomás R. Guilarte. “Today, we recognize the risk factors that come from our environment, as well as genetics and other social factors. We need a multifactorial approach to research to improve brain health.”

Among the guests at the symposium were Dr. Carl V. Hill, National Institute on Aging and Dr. Susan Resnick, National Institute on Aging; Dr. Yaakov Stern, Columbia University; Dr. Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; Mr. Jason Resendez, LatinosAgainstAlzheimher’s; and Dr. Francisco Lopera, Neuroscience Group at Colombia’s Universidad de Antioquia.

“We have plans to develop health-focused research opportunities at FIU, particularly around brain health and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Andrés Gil, vice president of the Office of Research and Economic Development.

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