College of Medicine hosting health-awareness raising event

Photo provided by FIU via Creative Commons’ flickr.

Simone Garvey-Ewan/Contributing Writer

Elenor Edwards, a senior psychology major, learned about the hardships of Alzheimer’s disease when her great grandmother began showing symptoms of the disease just a year ago and now does not remember her.

“One minute she makes progress, the next she backslides,” said Edwards. “This started a year ago, but the good thing is that she remembers my grandfather – her son.”

The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine will host Neal Barnard, a physician, an author and a health advocate, in an event titled, “A Nutritional Strategy for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease,” on Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. in the MARC Pavilion.

Barnard studies the effect of diet on health and has worked to reform federal dietary guidelines.

According to the Karen Wilkening, major gifts officer in the Office of Medical Development, the 14th Annual Joan and Harry B. Smith Lecture Series is funded by private donors.

Edwards said the college of medicine has a lot to prove because it’s new and that by hosting such an event, it will benefit put the college on the map, benefitting the community.

“This lecture will be very beneficial because our generation is quick to go under the knife instead of dealing with natural remedies to better ourselves,” Edwards said.

Jamilah Ruiz, a junior biology major, said her friend’s grandmother suffers from the disease and she plans to attend.

“I’m glad that the College of Medicine is spreading the word out and they’re educating people,” said Ruiz. “This is a big step for them because they’re new and this is a big event, I’m sure. I think it will bring a lot of people out.”

This lecture will cover new research that shows how diet and lifestyle can prevent Alzheimer’s to a certain degree. Neal Barnard will be explaining the steps surrounding what everyone can do to help minimize their risk in developing this disease.

Eve Desorme, a senior and biology major, feels like diet can change a lot but can’t completely stop someone from getting a disease.

“I feel like changing your diet can change a lot. I even heard that avocado can prevent cancer. I don’t really think that diet can fully prevent disease though, I just think that it can lower chances,” Desorme said.

Due to the large amount of RSVP attendees, this event is sold out; however, the College of Medicine is looking to find a larger venue so more people can attend.

“We are booked to capacity and are actually looking for possibilities for a larger venue on campus. It may end up not being in the MARC Pavilion as advertised,” wrote Karen Wilkening in an email to Student Media.

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