Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia affecting the elderly and is characterized by global cognitive decline in learning, memory, reasoning and judgment. AD is strongly influenced by both genetic factors and lifestyle. While certain rare gene mutations guarantee onset of AD before 60 years old, most cases of AD involve genetic susceptibility factors that interplay with each other as well as environmental factors and life exposures to determine life-long risk. Lifestyle factors include diet, levels of exercise, intellectual stimulation and social engagement, as well as sleep patterns. The genetic and environmental factors contributing to risk for AD will be reviewed along with emerging therapeutic strategies for treating and preventing this devastating disease. In addition, the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the brain, mind, and consciousness will be considered. In particular, the question of how the concept of “self “can be further refined in view of the effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain and mind will be discussed. Further elucidation of the relationship between brain function, mind, consciousness, and the cosmos will also be presented based on the concepts put forward in Rudolph Tanzi’s recent book “Super Brain”, as well as his new book (in preparation), “Super Genes”, both co-authored with Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Rudolph Tanzi’s talk is recorded at SAND14.