US Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Dances in Honor of Her Grandmother



US Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez’ grandmother Brunilda passed away last Wednesday. It was her intent to try to see her grandmother as soon as she could, having been away in LA for the show and knowing she was battling Alzheimer’s. The day after she gave an interview about that, her grandmother passed.

Last Monday on Dancing With the Stars she and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy gave a show-stopping performance of the fox-trot. The duo wore purple in honor of her grandmother and to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s. The routine was awarded a perfect score of 30. To see the full performance go here.

“Tonight was a little hard. Sometimes you just don’t know what to say. So instead of saying anything, I danced my way through it,” Hernandez told People.  November is also Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.


Marty Schottenheimer battling early-onset Alzheimer’s


At first I was going to leave the title just as it is on, Schottenheimer battling early-onset Alzheimer’s, but then I realized there are some who won’t know who Schottenheimer is. This is another sad note in the song of Alzheimer’s. For those unfamiliar, Marty Schottenheimer was a former linebacker who played with the Bill, Patriots, and Colts before retiring in 1971. He spent spent 21 seasons as an NFL head coach, and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago. He is reportedly expected to begin a trial of a new drug that could slow down the debilitating effects of the disease, for as we know there is currently no cure for the disease.

His wife Pat told ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, “He’s in the best of health, (but) sometimes he just doesn’t remember everything.” “He functions extremely well, plays golf several times a week. He’s got that memory lag where he’ll ask you the same question three or four times. Added Pat,”He remembers people and faces, and he pulls out strange things that I’ve never heard, but he’s doing well. It’s going be a long road. We both know that.”

The 1986 Cleveland Browns reconvened this past weekend for a 30-year reunion of the last Browns team to win 12 games, and Schottenheimer joined some of his former players and coaches including Earnest Byner, Felix Wright and Reggie Langhorne.

Upon hearing the news of Schottenheimer’s condition, Wright and Langhorne insisted that their former coach join them, telling Marty’s son and Colts offensive coordinator, Brian, “Your dad has to come to this. We all want to see him.”

After leaving the Browns following the 1988 season, Schottenheimer spent 11 years in Kansas City, during which he coached the Chiefs to seven playoff appearances, one season with the Redskins and five years in San Diego. He last coached professional football in 2006 when he went 14-2 with LaDainian Tomnlinson and the Chargers before being fired following an early playoff exit.

Schottenheimer concluded his coaching career with a .613 winning percentage and 5-13 record in the postseason. No Browns coach has posted an overall winning record since his departure in 1988.




Presidential Proclamation — National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, 2016




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A heartbreaking disease present in more than 5 million Americans, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and causes people to lose many of the critical abilities they need to live independently. Too often, those suffering from Alzheimer’s cannot recognize their loved ones or remember how to perform daily tasks, struggling physically and mentally with things that once came naturally. Although we have long known Alzheimer’s to be irreversible and fatal, we maintain hope that by advancing research and treatment options we can work to change these outcomes and ensure brighter prospects for all those who face this disease. During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we resolve to continue working toward this brighter future as we stand with every person battling, Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.

Alzheimer’s disease is more likely to affect Americans as they grow older — although genetics can also play a role, age is the most significant risk factor. But Alzheimer’s touches many more individuals than simply those who are diagnosed. Dedicated caregivers — whether professionals, family members, or friends — are also emotionally, physically, and financially affected by Alzheimer’s disease, giving of themselves to ensure those who face it are not alone. And because these individuals need access to information and resources in order to provide this essential care, we launched to give them a place to find help.

Through the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, my Administration has been working to meet a goal of being able to prevent and effectively treat this illness by 2025. Over the past year we have taken a number of actions to reach this vision, including developing a training curriculum that gives health care workers the necessary skills to care for dementia patients and better detect and diagnose dementia. We have also helped family caregivers look after their own health, in addition to addressing the needs of people with dementia, and launched a campaign to increase awareness of changes in the brain as people age so that older adults feel more comfortable having open conversations with family members and health care providers.

In addition to ensuring anyone with Alzheimer’s can access proper care, we must harness the innovative ideas of the scientific community and work to prevent this disease. To ramp up research and development aimed at uncovering the answers to diseases like Alzheimer’s, I have increased funding for research dedicated to understanding, preventing, and curing Alzheimer’s and related dementias. I also introduced the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, which will enhance our understanding of brain function and give scientists the tools they need to better understand and discover new ways to treat, cure, and prevent brain disorders. And through a bold new research effort that seeks to deliver personalized care through patient-centered research and collaboration, my Precision Medicine Initiative is working to revolutionize our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

From researchers and advocates who are bringing us closer to preventing this disease to family members who devotedly look after their loved ones, people across our country are doing their part to support those touched by Alzheimer’s. This month, let us honor those we have lost too soon and renew our efforts to ensure more Americans can live their lives with health and happiness.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2016 as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and support the individuals living with this disease and their caregivers.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.


Another reason to love chocolate: Nestle raises its bet on potential $10 billion health business

A bird flies past the logo at the headquarters of world food giant Nestle in Vevey October 16, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
A bird flies past the logo at the headquarters of world food giant Nestle in Vevey October 16, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

I like chocolate and I like Nestle’s chocolate, can we say Snickers, but in the wheelhouse of serious news, it was quite interesting to read how Nestle is taking their company a step further into nutritional therapy and developing opportunities in the new-product pipeline.

The Nestle Health Science unit formed in 2011, is forging ahead into a nutritional space between food and pharmaceuticals where the goal is to find ways to treat and prevent different types of diseases, from gastrointestinal problems to Alzheimer’s.

On the fun side, who wouldn’t want their to be a great correlation to eating your favorite chocolate or Nestle’s product and know that it’s helping to prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s, yet on the serious side, we’re learning everyday that there is a huge correlation between the food we eat and our health. And I commend Nestle on taking their research and product development a step further into the health space.

Here is the full article from Reuters:

Nestle raises its bet on potential $10 billion health business

Nestle, famous for its coffee and chocolate, is stepping up investment in nutritional therapy, a business it believes will eventually generate annual sales of 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.5 billion).

Greg Behar, chief executive of Nestle Health Science, told Reuters that the unit formed in 2011 already had revenue of more than 2 billion francs and there were major opportunities both in the new-product pipeline and in geographic expansion.

“Most of the emerging markets are offering amazing growth opportunities,” he said.

Behar, who worked for drugmakers Novartis and Boehringer Ingelheim before heading the new Nestle unit, is forging a new kind business that is midway between food and pharmaceuticals.

The goal is to find novel ways to treat and prevent different types of diseases using nutritional approaches, from gastrointestinal problems to Alzheimer’s.

It is a bold move by the world’s largest packaged food company and requires Nestle to engage in discussions with regulators such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which Behar said were going well.

“The FDA wants to bring innovation to the market. They see the health value of our products and we’re having very constructive discussions with them,” he said in an interview after Nestle reported nine-months results.

“They see us as a partner that can help shape this area and this regulatory framework.”

Currently, Nestle Health Science has around 40 different projects underway and Behar said: “We think we can do more.”

He believes there is a clear opportunity to fill a gap between the traditional pharmaceutical and food industries, given ageing populations around the world and spiralling cases of lifestyle diseases.


Strategically, the shift towards health offers Nestle a hedge against slowing growth in packaged foods by opening up a profitable new area. It is also a counter to crackdowns on unhealthy foods blamed for obesity and other lifestyle problems.

At present, Nestle Health Science margins are in line with the group average but Behar said his vision was for the division to be “significantly accretive” in the long term as its profit margins increase to above the group average.

Nestle has recently been stepping up spending in the space through acquisitions and collaborations. Last week it also announced plans to invest $70 million in a new health science research hub and U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.

“We will continue accelerating our external innovation,” Behar said, adding that deals could be both big and small, while the timing of acquisitions would depend on opportunities.

Earlier this year, Nestle invested $65 million in Seres Health, a U.S. start-up company that specializes in restoring the “microbiome”, or healthy gut bacteria, and which is developing an experimental treatment for clostridium difficile infection.

It has also acquired or invested in companies working on metabolic disorders, gastroenterology, oncology and Alzheimer’s disease.

Last month it signed a deal with Swiss biotech firm AC Immune to develop a simple diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s, on the basis that early diagnosis will be critical if targeted nutritional approaches are used in fighting the memory-robbing condition.

As part of its drive to establish itself as science leader in the field, Nestle is hosting a symposium next week in Lausanne on cognition and brain health, with academic speakers from prominent institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.

(Writing and additional reporting by Ben Hirschler in London; Editing by Mark Potter)