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Emory ADRC receives funding to promote brain health

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The Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) has received a $50,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation to provide education on brain health and offer memory screenings for people of color.

With this funding the ADRC will host free forums around Atlanta that will include education on the impact of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity/physical exercise on dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The first event will be held March 14, 2015 at Ben Hill United Methodist Church. 

"Studies show that African Americans age 71 and older are two times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease or dementia than whites of the same age and so it is important to educate communities of color about maintaining brain health," says Monica Parker, MD, assistant professor of medicine in geriatrics and gerontology at Emory University School of Medicine and member of the ADRC.

The grant was awarded to continue the groundbreaking work of the Registry for Remembrance (RfR), a community and academic partnership established to better inform individuals, particularly minority elders, about cognitive disorders and the importance of clinical research participation to stop, slow or prevent Alzheimer's disease. The Emory ADRC and the Emory Center for Health in Aging partnered with the RfR to establish bi-annual forums that led to subsequent study enrollment and a broader diversity of informed research volunteers at the Emory ADRC.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) supports the efforts of Emory ADRC in educating people about brain health.  Through this community outreach program, participants will take away vital information about how various conditions and healthy habits may impact the progression of symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease and dementia," said Morgan Kendrick, president of BCBSGa.

About the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

The Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) is the only National Institutes of Health designated ADRC in the Southeast, signifying the highest status an institution can receive in Alzheimer's research and care.  Emory's ADRC is a magnet for patients in the region, a catalyst for research and a vital source of training and education for the community and other professionals.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's Associate Giving program, which provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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