They came from all over the Lowcountry and even further afield to learn more about the “last frontier” in medical science. They came to learn about that “squidgy” 3lbs organ inside their head. Yes, they came to learn about their brain, and how to take better care of it too!
Last year was our inaugural Brain Health Summit held at the Folly Beach Convention Center, with a little over 300 attendees exceeding our expectations. We learned much from that event and this year planned on maximizing capacity. We were thrilled that with Brain Health Summit 2 we experienced a 50% increase in attendance at over 450 people!
For those of you unable to attend I am sorry you missed an amazing event. Please join us next year on March 12th! From 10am to 3.15pm the audience was engaged and at times the silence was palpable as our guests listened intently to messages of hope and encouragement from the cutting edge scientific studies and research of Dr. Vik Khurana, to clearly reasoned and practical interventions for maintaining optimum brain health from Dr. Lara Boyd, and from Dr. Steven Plenzler a guide to the extreme importance to the brain concerning the world of sleep . The day would not have been complete without our very own volunteer Chef-in-Residence, Kim Baretta wowing the audience with a live Mediterranean lifestyle cooking demonstration that was both fun and educational. It is no small wonder that Chef Kim and Memory Matters strongly advocate the Mediterranean lifestyle food and preparation. Recently the Mayo Clinic has written a well-considered article promoting this optimal lifestyle and the US News and World report voted it the number one “diet” and the easiest to follow for all-around good wellness including the brain. I always remind my readers and students that the word “diet” comes from the Greek word “diaita” meaning lifestyle; so beyond olive oil, fresh vegetables, legumes, and fish we focus on exercise, socialization, life long learning, and mindfulness.
It is no small wonder that a number of recent articles have focused on the average life expectancy of people living in Andalusia, Spain. They point to continued improvement from their already top ten position in the world. Please note that we do not advocate a major shift in eating habits from one day to the next. Adopting the Mediterranean lifestyle is an evolutionary process.
This year, thanks to wonderful sponsorship from the Dosal Family Foundation, we employed state-of-the-art audiovisual systems and were able to record the event with high-resolution video. It is our ambition, and that of our sponsor, to take Memory Matters message more nationally and globally through enhancements we will make to our website this year. We fully intend to create new educational segments from the learning shared at the Brain Health Summit 2. One of our Key Note Speakers, Dr.Khurana, suggested to me that Memory Matters is such a unique organization, offering both Brain Health Education and Memory Care Services, that he feels strongly we ought to be gaining national prominence. Dr. Khurana is a Professor at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Medical School and has his own Laboratory at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Especial thanks go to Boys, Arnold and Company who kindly sponsored Dr. Khurana’s visit and enabled us to bring to the Lowcountry one of this nation’s preeminent scientists engaged in the search for the cure for diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Dr. Lara Boyd is an Associate Professor in the Center for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and what a pleasure it was to hear her speaking in scientifically based and reasoned terms, and distilled from them, a series of clear messages for us to adopt to keep our brains healthy. It was no small wonder that Dr. Boyd’s Tedx talk has garnered 23 million views on YouTube! Especial thanks go to Burr, Forman and McNair Law Firm for kindly sponsoring Dr. Boyd’s visit. Congratulations also go to my friend John Jolley for his splendid introduction of Dr. Boyd, in particular for learning some tongue-twisting new words such as neuroplasticity!
Dr. Steven Plenzler is a national presenter based in Bluffton SC, and he gave a really educational overview of the importance of sleep to all of us. He described how disrupted sleep can impact brain health and focused on an optimal “three-legged stool” comprising sleep, diet, and exercise.
The four speakers tied nicely together and were joined by our own Karen Doughtie who demonstrated, and lead us in mindfulness meditation.
Before I conclude this blog I must thank our other principal sponsors, namely: The Cypress, Coastal States Wealth Management – Raymond James, Bloom Senior Living, Gum Tree Nursery – Snell and Associates, and the David and Nancy Borghesi family. Thanks also go to the many Exhibitors and Table Sponsors for supporting this enjoyable event and a final special thanks to the Folly Beach and Tennis Resort staff who were so helpful. Last and by no means least a shout out to Chef Brad for creating the delicious Mediterranean themed lunch!
Barbara and I were sitting with two of our musical volunteer friends John Ratliff and Bob Fortier who overheard the attendees on one table say. “Gosh, we would have paid double to attend this event, it is so good”.
Please join us next year on March 12th. We promise not to double the entrance fee!
Thank you to everyone who attended this event. We truly appreciate your support…………….Mike
For more information about Memory Matters brain health education classes and memory care services please call 843 842 6688. Remember to schedule that really important baseline memory screen. It’s the “gold standard” and its confidential and free of charge, thanks to our loyal and committed donors and sponsors.