“We’re calling this a symposium, but it’s really an information session,” said Lisa Cothren, the member who’s chairs the project. “It’s free to the community and a service project of the Pilot Club. It will be interesting to anyone who might be dealing with Alzheimer’s on a daily basis or are curious about it.”
The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the downtown Carrollton Cultural Arts Center on Alabama Street. Registration will be held from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. and Reisberg will give his presentation from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m.
Dr. Stephanie Boyd will give a presentation on depression and bipolar disease from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., followed by a 15-minute break.
A one-hour panel discussion will be held from noon to 1 p.m., with Reisberg, Boyd and Dr. Karen Harris Brown, a University of West Georgia associate professor of communication sciences and disorders and language and literacy.
“The panel discussion will give people attending a chance to ask questions of the presenters,” Cothren said.
Reisberg has directed research for three decades which has significantly advanced current understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He was the first to describe the most important symptoms and the characteristic clinical course of the disease.
He has been instrumental in developing three major drug treatment modalities for the disease and was the principal designer of a pivotal trail of the drug memantine, with the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Reisberg was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Research by the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and by the Alzheimer’s Association. He defined the term “mild cognitive impairment” and helps his patients regain basic skills of living to prolong their independence and to ease the burden of caregivers.
He serves as professor of psychiatry at New York University and is an adjunct professor at McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Canada. He is director of the clinical core of the U.S. National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Disease Center of New York University School of Medicine. He is also director of the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Resources Program.
Boyd is a graduate of the University of Georgia counseling program and was previously on the staff as a health psychologist in the Department of Behavioral Medicine at Walton Rehabilitation Hospital in Augusta, Ga. Prior to joining the Walton team, she worked in private practice for 13 years in Columbia, S.C., and was a faculty member at University of South Carolina and Augusta State University, teaching graduate and undergraduate psychology.
Brown teaches at UWG, with courses in speech-language pathology and English to speakers of other languages. She has 20 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist and has worked in school-based and clinical programs.
“One thing we’re committed to with this symposium is to try to get the most qualified doctors and individuals who can speak on the topics addressed,” Cothren said. “The Pilot Club is able to offer this free as a project for our community.”
Cothren said the Pilot Club has concentrated, since 1991, on helping people with brain related disorders. She said Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting one in eight older Americans.
She said the second topic of the symposium, depression and bipolar disease, has been plagued with social stigma and prejudice for years and the discussion will help address some of the problems and misunderstandings about the disorders.
Although the symposium is free, the Pilot Club requests that people obtain a registration form online at www.CarrolltonPilotClub.eventbrite.com or by calling 770-834-2083.