100 spaces added to stroke prevention seminar

Downey Patriot, October 24, 2013

Last no-cost stroke prevention seminar of the year takes place Nov. 6.

WRITTEN BY :   Greg Waskul, Contributor

DOWNEY – Due to overwhelming demand, 100 reservation slots have been added so that more members of the local community can attend the final Stroke Prevention Seminar of the year on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Rio Hondo Event Center.

This free seminar series, which has been described by several leading physicians as the most successful primary stroke prevention initiative ever undertaken in our country, will complete the year with a presentation on Alzheimer’s Disease and vascular dementia by one of the world’s most renowned doctors and researchers, Dr. Helena Chang Chui. All attendees will also receive a free blood pressure screening at the event.

“We already have nearly 200 RSVP’s for this free seminar,” said Deborah Massaglia, President of the RTH Stroke Foundation, which sponsors the seminar series in partnership with the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation, Rio Hondo Event Center and The Downey Patriot. “We think Dr. Chui’s message is so important that we have opened these new reservation slots, but based on previous experience they won’t last long,” she said.

“We recommend that those who are interested in attending make reservations immediately online at rthfoundation.org or by phone at (888) 794-9466.”

Dr. Chui holds the Raymond and Betty McCarron endowed Chair at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and serves as chair of the Department of Neurology. She is internationally recognized for her research in Alzheimer’s disease and vascular cognitive impairment.

The Downey Patriot interviewed Dr. Chui this week while she was in Shanghai, China, completing a journey that took her to three provinces in the world’s most populous nation.

“I am very excited to speak to the Downey community about these important issues that affect our brain,” Dr. Chui said. “I will be explaining how we can maximize our vascular health to give us the best chance to avoid disabling neurological conditions such as strokes, Alzheimer’s Disease and vascular dementia,” Dr. Chui said.

“There is a lot of confusion throughout the community about these conditions, and everyone who attends will gain an understanding of what they can do to help improve their overall health,” she said.

“We are so excited that Dr. Chui will be speaking at our November 6 seminar, because she makes these complex concepts so understandable,” Deborah said.

“Our best offense against neurological diseases is a good defense, which is working with researchers to help find better treatments for people who have symptoms and also preventions to reduce the frequency of people who have symptoms, Dr. Chui said. She and her team at USC are world leaders in helping provide solutions to these challenging issues.
“If we could just delay the onset of symptoms by five years, we could cut the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease by half,” she said.”At USC we have a focus on trying to develop solutions that are designed to have the best preventive effects without increasing the risks of other diseases.

“The impacts of vascular disease can be more subtle, and symptoms of cognitive impairment often occur in smaller steps, may stabilize, then might progress a little further,” she said. “We are interested in maintaining the health of the blood vessel system, and therefore the health of the brain as well.”

One example of how to improve vascular health is regular physical exercise. “Email has become a real addiction for many people,” Dr. Chui said. “Once you’ve opened it, you’re just sitting there, sometimes for hours. That’s why I always exercise before getting on email.”

Dr. Chui will speak about this and will provide some fun memory tips for attendees, as well as discussing other ways people can protect their vascular system.

“The vascular system is so vast that the total length of the capillaries in your brain is about 400 miles, which would stretch from here in Los Angeles to San Francisco,” she said. “Protecting our vascular health is the most important thing we can do to reduce the risk of stroke and other neurological conditions.”

Dr. Chui works with these issues every day. She is the principal investigator for the Alzheimer Disease Research Center as well as a multi-institutional program project on vascular dementia. She is also the author of more than 120 publications and has served on the editorial board for “Stroke, Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders” and “Archives of Neurology.”

“I always enjoy listening to Dr. Chui talk, because she explains things in a way I can understand and put the information to use in my own life,” said Downey community leader Sam Mathis.

“Having Dr. Chui speak is a great way to end our historic first year of Primary Stroke Prevention Seminars in Downey,” Deborah said. “She is a tremendous speaker, a legendary researcher, a visionary leader, and an even greater person.

“I know that anyone who hears Dr. Chui speak on November 6 will learn things that can help them improve their health and the overall quality of their life,” she added. “We recommend that our friends in their community make their reservations now so that they can attend this very special free seminar.”

Photo By: Greg Waskul