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WellCare of Louisiana Presents a Public Forum on Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease November 1 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge

Released: Monday, October 10, 2011

BATON ROUGE - The Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention at Pennington Biomedical Research Center will host its third annual public forum on dementia and Alzheimer's disease on Tuesday, November 1, at Pennington Biomedical in Baton Rouge. The forum is presented by WellCare of Louisiana, Inc.

The forum is free and open to individuals seeking the latest insights in clinical research findings and advances in the field of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The forum will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in an open format with the opportunity to ask questions of leading dementia experts.

Registration and exhibits will be available beginning at 5:00 p.m. The forum will be held at the C.B. Pennington, Jr. Building, 6400 Perkins Road, on the Pennington Biomedical campus. Guests must register online at http://idrp.pbrc.edu or by calling (225) 763-2973.

Key topics of the conference include information on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and a focus on understanding the basis for increased fall risk in the elderly with and without dementia.

The program will feature several leading dementia experts, including Richard M. Allman, M.D., director of the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care at the University of Alabama-Birmingham; Andrew W. Gardner, Ph.D., professor in the College of Medicine at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; Brian T. Gold, Ph.D., director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Kentucky; Sid E. O'Bryant, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and Director of Research, F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Walking Behavior, Pennington Biomedical Research Center; and Jeffrey Keller, Ph.D., director of the IDRP at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

"There are more than 100,000 individuals with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in Louisiana. There is a great need for timely information on this topic," said Dr. Keller. Because of this interest, the IDRP's conferences have attracted more than 500 individuals, caretakers, and medical professionals each year.

The IDRP was established in 2009 to improve the quality of life for individuals in Louisiana through research programs focused on dementia prevention and providing vital educational opportunities for individuals affected by dementia. IDRP is focused on creating clinical research infrastructure and new clinical trials, and conducting conferences to promote the latest in dementia research and prevention.

"Because of the overwhelming response from the community, IDRP has recruited nearly 2,000 Louisiana residents who are now participating in a longitudinal study to identify the basis for age-related dementia," said Dr. Keller. It is the twelfth largest study of its kind in the nation. The study aims to develop tools for early detection and to develop therapeutic avenues for treatment.

The forum is underwritten by Presenting Sponsor WellCare of Louisiana, and Patron Sponsors Amedisys, Inc. and St. James Place.

For more information and to register, call 225-763-2973.

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The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.