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‘Dementia: Current Trends & Future Directions’ Focus of Local Conference

Alzheimer’s Association will present a full slate of keynote speakers and workshop presentations on April 18

New and innovative research being developed in Alzheimer’s disease will be the subject of the opening keynote address of the 2012 Alzheimer’s Association conference, “Dementia: Current Trends & Future Directions,” slated for Wednesday, April 18 at the Montecito Country Club in Santa Barbara.

This annual, daylong conference features keynote speakers and workshop presentations in all aspects of dementia, including legal and financial issues; public policy; behaviors; caregiving; patients’ rights; medication; and arts and creativity in the brain.

Marc Jacobson, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego and assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, will present the opening keynote.

Jacobson, recipient of an Alzheimer’s Association research award, will describe recent investigations into related neurodegenerative disorders (Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and others) that may have a big impact on Alzheimer’s research and treatment.

New this year, conference highlights will be available via Twitter as they happen during the day. People at the conference can participate in the Twitter conversation (@Alz2012), and anyone else can follow the conversation as well.

Created especially to meet the needs of caregivers — unpaid family members and professional caregivers — the conference is also open to anyone who wants to learn more about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Professionals who attend are eligible for continuing education credits.

Some of the topics being covered at the conference include what to do after receiving an Alzheimer diagnosis; the legal and financial considerations of dementia; medications; and patients’ rights, among others.

Click here for conference details and registration information.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 at the Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara. Participant registration is $95 per person, if registered by 5 p.m. April 1 — $105 after 5 p.m. April 9 — and includes breakfast and lunch. Registration is $125 at the door, if space permits. Last year the event sold out early.

Other presenters at the all-day conference include: Bruce Miller, M.D., professor of neurology at UC San Francisco and clinical director of the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF; Dr. Lisa Hayden, clinical research psychologist at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System at West Los Angeles; Gary Martin, Ph.D., licensed psychologist and a geriatrics/long-term care specialist with Integrated Geriatric Behavioral Health Associates in Scottsdate, Ariz.; Mary Shea, senior deputy public defender at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office, specializing in conservatorship law; Cheri Elson, attorney at law in Ventura County who specializes in conservatorship law, estate planning, probate and special needs trusts; Dr. Linda Hewett, clinical professor at UCSF at Fresno and co-director of the Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center; Juan Manuel Gutierrez, Ph.D., principal of Clinical Neuropsychological Associates of Santa Barbara and a national specialist in clinical, forensic and organizational consultations regarding the brain; Karen Jones, executive director/program director, long-term-care ombudsman services of San Luis Obispo County; Lisa Snyder, MSW, LCSW, the clinical social worker and director of the Quality of Life Programs for the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UC San Diego, MCDB, and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute; and Norman White, M.D., a consultant in geriatric psychiatry in San Luis Obispo.

— Barbara Lanz-Mateo is the communications director for the Alzheimer’s Association-Central Coast Chapter.

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