LOS ANGELES – Protecting and improving the health of the athlete brain is a lead focus of a global athlete health initiative by the International Sponsor Council (ISC), the trade association for corporate sponsors. The target goal of the ISC athlete brain health program is to provide critical medical research and funding led by the ISC in support of more scientific investigation into brain diseases afflicting athletes such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), ALS and dementia involving Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to research, the program will also include a summit that brings athletes, the sports industry, sponsors and members of the neurologic community together in collaboration on this issue.

In a worldwide effort to raise research funds for athlete brain health, the ISC has partnered with the American Brain Foundation, an international charity dedicated to funding research to defeat brain disease. The American Brain Foundation is the central driving force behind bringing neurologists, researchers, patients and caregivers together to help generate funding for and awareness of brain disease research.

“Our goal is to protect the brains of all athletes from girls and boys involved in youth athletics and recreation, to the highly-visible professionals in football, soccer, hockey, MMA, rugby, as well as nontraditional athletes including eSports,” said Terry Cecil, CEO and Chief Sustainability Engineer of the ISC. “We are also including the impact of virtual, mixed and augmented reality technology on both athletes and fans. This represents millions of people around the world and is a world challenge with a serious impact on society. Partnering with the American Brain Foundation on this project will have a valuable global impact for athletes, fans, sponsors and society.”

Cecil added, “From the perspective of corporate sponsors, athlete health is a sustainability issue. Sponsors have a collective interest and responsibility to help provide leadership on athlete health. Sustainability is a core value for most of the world’s large corporations, and they commit to it throughout their business processes which should include sponsorship. Health, safety and wellness are a critical part of that commitment. As sponsors, these corporations recognize that athletes are a critical stakeholder–without athletes, sport does not exist and therefore neither would sport sponsorship.”

“Through this collaboration, the American Brain Foundation will work to develop an army of researchers focused on athlete brain health,” said Robert Griggs, MD, FAAN, Chair of the American Brain Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee. “Our unique research partnership with our founder, the American Academy of Neurology, gives our foundation access to the best and brightest minds to source the most high-risk and high-reward research on athlete brain health.”

About International Sponsor Council
The International Sponsor Council (ISC) is the world trade organization representing corporate sponsors. The mission of the ISC is to promote and protect the collective interests of and increase the efficiency of corporations as sponsors. The ISC works with industries utilizing sponsorship including sport, music,
entertainment, education, science and NGOs. As the leading driver for the integration of sustainability and sponsorship, the ISC impacts the current and future of the industry. For more information, please visit www.sponsorcouncil.org.

About the American Brain Foundation
The American Brain Foundation funds the vital research needed to cure brain disease that affects one in six Americans. Founded by the American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest association serving neurologists and the neuroscience community, the American Brain Foundation’s mission is to bring researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease. www.americanbrainfoundation.org

MINNEAPOLIS – Caregivers are an unrecognized victim caught in the rising tide of Alzheimer’s disease, says advocate Dan Gasby in an editorial published online by Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology on October 6, 2017. Gasby has been caring for his wife, B. Smith, a nationally recognized celebrity chef, supermodel and lifestyle maven, since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. 

In the editorial, “Alzheimer Dementia’s Other Victim – The Spouse,” Gasby provides an unvarnished account of his marriage under the devastating influence of Alzheimer’s, where everything has changed—from the couple’s business partnership to their sexual relationship.
“From my experience as a caregiver, I know that brain disease robs sufferers of their dreams and ambitions and of their hopes and even their homes,” said Gasby, who co-authored the moving memoir, “Before I Forget” with his wife. “We must recognize that the devastation extends to the caregiver, the other victim in this epidemic.”
Gasby chronicles the emotionally and physically draining life of the caregiver:

“It’s a fact that when you see an iceberg, no matter how large, only one-fifth is seen above the surface. That which is unseen constitutes the bulk of its true mass. True also of what my fellow spousal caregivers and I reveal about the depth and breadth of what we confront and endure every minute of every day. Some days are worse than others. Hearing, “I hate your guts!” from your spouse pierces your very being. Yes, I know it’s not her, it’s the disease, but I’m still human and still feel it. For the at-home caregiver, Alzheimer’s is nothing short of domestic torture.”

An estimated 5.5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease. The cost of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient ranges from $20,000 to$90,000 annually according to estimates. Spouses and relatives often give up their jobs to provide care for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, yet another staggering cost that goes unrecognized.

Gasby’s editorial points to research and advocacy for brain health as his sources of hope. He will take his message to Capitol Hill on October 10, World Mental Health Day, where he is scheduled to provide testimony in a Congressional briefing on “Healthy Aging: The Connection…Diabetes, Obesity, and Dementia. The briefing is sponsored by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in cooperation with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

In January, Gasby joined forces with the American Brain Foundation, serving as a director on a board that includes world-renowned neurologists, a former NFL Super Bowl champion, Vice President Walter Mondale (Honorary Chair) and Susan Schneider Williams, artist and widow of late actor and comedian Robin Williams.

About the American Brain Foundation

The American Brain Foundation brings researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease, believing that funding research across a broad spectrum of the brain and nervous system is the best hope for curing brain disease as a whole. The Foundation has granted $24 million toward research on brain disease. Learn more at www.AmericanBrainFoundation.org, or find the Foundation on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

MINNEAPOLIS – The McKnight Brain Research Foundation and the American Brain Foundation have announced a new scholarship award that will advance research in cognitive aging to benefit people with age-related memory loss. Ten McKnight Clinical Translational Research Scholarships in Cognitive Aging and Age-related Memory Losswill be awarded for the period 2018 to 2022. The scholarships will be funded by a $1.65 million grant from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, through the American Brain Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology.

The McKnight Clinical Translational Research Scholarships in Cognitive Aging and Age-related Memory Loss will provide early career clinicians with $150,000 over two years in stipend and research-related costs. Applications for the award are open to young investigators interested in devoting significant research time in cognitive aging and age-related memory loss. Applications for the first two scholarships will open in July 2017 with an application deadline of October 1, 2017.

Memory loss is a key factor in predicting the quality of life of the aging adult. “The population is growing daily, and by the year 2030 it is estimated that nearly 25 percent of the 360 million Americans will be 65 or older with millions suffering from some form of memory loss. Finding the answer to this important component of health can have an immense beneficial influence on every member of society in helping them age successfully,” said J. Lee Dockery, MD., chair of the McKnight Brain Research Foundation board of trustees. “The partnership between the McKnight Brain Research Foundation and the American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology, has enormous potential to advance the understanding, alleviation and treatment of cognitive decline and memory loss specific to the process of aging.”

“The American Brain Foundation is thrilled to be in a partnership with the McKnight Brain Research Foundation with the goal of increasing innovative research on memory loss in aging,” said Robert C. Griggs, MD, Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and chair of the Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee. “The Foundation has funded more than 200 Clinical Research Training Scholarships across a broad spectrum of diseases of the brain. A key to our success is our close collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology, our founder, research partner and the world’s largest association serving neurologists and the neuroscience community.”

About the McKnight Brain Research Foundation

The McKnight Brain Research Foundation promotes research and investigation of the brain in the fundamental mechanisms that underlie the neurobiology of memory with clinical relevance to the problems of age related memory loss. For more information about the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, visit www.tmbrf.org.

About the American Brain Foundation

The American Brain Foundation brings researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease, believing that funding research across a broad spectrum of the brain and nervous system is the best hope for curing brain disease as a whole. The Foundation has granted $24 million toward research on brain disease. Learn more at www.AmericanBrainFoundation.org, or find the Foundation on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

About the American Academy of Neurology
The American Academy of Neurology is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 32,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit https://www.aan.com/or find us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

The American Brain Foundation announced today that B. Smith and her husband Dan Gasby are the 2017 recipients of the Public Leadership in Neurology Award (PLINA). The couple joins a prestigious list of past winners, including journalist Bob Woodruff, retired professional athlete Tedy Bruschi, Vice President Walter Mondale, actor Michael J. Fox and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

Smith is a nationally recognized celebrity chef, restaurateur, supermodel, and lifestyle maven, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2013. Gasby recently joined the American Brain Foundation Board of Directors to help the Foundation make curing brain disease a high profile, public cause.

The couple will receive the PLINA award during the Foundation’s Commitment to Cures dinner on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at the Westin Boston Waterfront. The event begins at 7 pm EST.

The Public Leadership in Neurology Award honors an individual or group outside of the medical profession. Honorees are recognized for advancing public understanding and awareness of neurologic disease, being effective advocates for neuroscience research and making significant contributions to improve patient care.

“B. Smith and Dan Gasby embody all the principles and values of the Public Leadership in Neurology Award,” said Kevin Goodno, Board Chair of the American Brain Foundation, a national charity whose mission is to bring researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease. “We are grateful to have them working so hard for such a critical cause.”

The pair has been tirelessly advocating for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers since Smith received her diagnosis, crisscrossing the country, making more than two dozen appearances at Alzheimer’s-related events. They co-authored the book Before I Forget: Love, Hope, and Acceptance in our Fight Against Alzheimer’s, released by Random House in January 2016.

In their book, which includes a forward by Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, of Harvard University and 1996 recipient of the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and Related Diseases, Smith and Gasby share their compelling personal journey with Alzheimer’s disease and make a strong case for research funding. They detail the particularly devastating impact of the disease on African Americans, who are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to develop late onset Alzheimer’s and less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition, which often results in less time for treatment and planning.

“We’re honored to receive the PLINA Award,” Gasby said. “Brain Health is the greatest 21st Century civil rights issue and we must admit now that we need more funding, more awareness and more compassion for the more than 50 million Americans afflicted with brain diseases.”

For tickets to the Commitment to Cures event and more about, visit the American Brain Foundation website at americanbrainfoundation.org.

ATTENTION EDITORS AND REPORTERS: Dan Gasby IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS in advance of the event. Please contact Robb Leer at robbl@leercommunication.com or 612-701-0608 to schedule an interview.

MINNEAPOLISAt a time when our country is poised to celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of the late Martin Luther King Jr., today author and advocate Dan Gasby is joining forces with the American Brain Foundation (ABF) to raise awareness of the tremendous racial disparities that exist between African Americans and non-Hispanic whites when it comes to the diagnosis, treatment and lack of adequate studies of brain disease.

“Brain Health is the greatest 21st Century civil rights issue,” said Gasby. “When you lose your cognitive ability, your rights as a human being are greatly diminished.”

Gasby says this is particularly devastating for African Americans, who are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to develop late onset Alzheimer’s and less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition, which often results in little time for treatment and planning. Gasby’s wife, B. Smith, a nationally recognized celebrity chef, supermodel and lifestyle maven, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013.

“From my experience as a caregiver, I know that brain disease robs sufferers of their dreams and ambitions and of their hopes and even their homes,” said Gasby, who co-authored the moving memoir, “Before I Forget” with his wife. “Our brain health is often directly tied to our socioeconomic status. We need more funding, more awareness and more compassion for the more than 50 million Americans afflicted with brain diseases.”

Kevin Goodno, Board Chair of the ABF, a national charity whose mission is to bring researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease, said Gasby’s election to the Board continues to diversify the organization and better positions the ABF to address the critical need for funding to accelerate research.

“Each of our Board members shares our organization’s collective passion to find a cure,” Goodno said. “Throughout our history, the American public has successfully rallied to beat back pervasive threats to our personal and public health, such as polio, cancer and HIV/AIDS. It’s now time to defeat brain disease.”

Gasby joins a distinguished ABF Board that includes world-renowned neurologists, a former NFL Super Bowl champion, Vice President Walter Mondale (Honorary Chair) and the most recent appointee Susan Schneider Williams, artist and widow of late actor and comedian Robin Williams.

For more information about the American Brain Foundation or to learn more, visit www. AmericanBrainFoundation.org, or find the Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

About the American Brain Foundation

The American Brain Foundation is an emerging national foundation whose mission is to bring researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease. Through cross-cutting innovative research, the American Brain Foundation is making investments in the best and brightest minds in the world to identify treatments, prevention methods and cures for brain disease.

Learn more at www.AmericanBrainFoundation.org or find the Foundation on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and YouTube.