Andrew Dougherty and Mike Mursten, two men who share a passion to combat Alzheimer’s Disease, or AD, have founded the Genesis Brain Health Institute to offer a medically based program aimed at baby boomers that has been shown to delay, and in some cases even reverse, cognitive decline.
“Current medical studies have conclusively shown that a lifestyle of exercise, proper nutrition, brain utilization, and stress management can delay the onset of cognitive decline,” said Andrew Dougherty, co-founder and president of Genesis.
With current science on the brain and memory loss as their guide, they are offering a multi-faceted program beginning in September in the Provision Wellness building in Knoxville, the first such program in East Tennessee. Beginning with a complete medical assessment, the program includes an educational series on topics critical to brain health.
“What we have found is that baby boomers do have general knowledge about health and wellness, but lack the specific knowledge and tools to implement it into their daily lives,” said Mike Mursten, co-founder and chief executive officer. “The Genesis program is a practical, medically based program to give you the tools to fill your tool box.”
Dougherty and Mursten, each with grandmothers who had Alzheimer’s, have seen first-hand the suffering that goes along with cognitive decline.
“I’ve seen that Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment can really cripple the healthcare system,” Dougherty said. “The cost of care for those individuals is estimated to be in excess of $180 billion dollars in the United States alone. If we can delay the onset of AD for five years, we can save our community hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Not only is this very important for families and individuals who suffer from this disease, it is also important for our society and will make a huge difference.”
Dougherty co-founded Medical Interactive Education (Medinteract), with his father, Dr. John H. Dougherty Jr., medical director of the Cole Neuroscience Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Medinteract, a health education organization, provides the latest research and information about brain wellness.
Dr. Ryan Unger, co-founder of Faculty Physicians, will serve as the medical director of the Genesis Brain Health Institute. Dr. LeAnne Dougherty, a licensed clinical social worker and Dougherty’s mother, will work with participants to develop stress management techniques, another key to brain health.
Andrew Dougherty will focus on brain utilization, where the emphasis will be not just on brain games but on continuing to use processes that stimulate the brain, such as thinking strategically and exploring new skills and subjects.
Mursten is president and managing partner of The Courtyards Senior Living, with eight facilities specializing in Alzheimer’s and dementia care in East Tennessee, including Knoxville and Oak Ridge. With an MBA from Harvard Business School, Mursten has entrepreneurial experience in hospitality, health care, real estate, construction, and corporate finance.
Dougherty’s interest in Alzheimer’s began when he volunteered for an Adult Day Center run by Alzheimer’s Tennessee, then went on to work at the Brain Bank, a collaboration between Alzheimer’s Tennessee and UT, researching the epidemiology behind Alzheimer’s. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from UT, with a concentration in finance, innovation, and entrepreneurship, to support his efforts to combat Alzheimer’s through education on brain health from a business perspective.
A 2014 research study that grabbed Mursten’s attention involved a 67-year-old woman who considered suicide when memory loss began interfering with her work. She had watched her mother, suffering from escalating dementia, decline for years before her death.
Her participation in a small study of a new, comprehensive program to reverse memory loss by Dr. Dale E. Bredesen, at the University of California at Los Angeles and Buck Institute for Research on Aging, resulted in abatement of her symptoms after three months, according to an article in the September 2014 journal Aging.
The study was one of the first to indicate that memory loss in patients with mild cognitive impairment and the early phase of Alzheimer’s may be reversed, with improvement sustained, following a program that includes diet changes, brain stimulation, exercise, sleep optimization, vitamins and certain drugs, and other steps.
For more information on the Genesis Brain Health Institute, see the website at www.genesisbrain.com.
This press release was submitted by Kay Brookshire.
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