Introducing the new Penn Memory Center newsletter, bringing you the latest news and upcoming events.
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Karlawish: We need to be more open
about Alzheimer's disease


American adults love to talk about their health, and Alzheimer's disease will someday join data-driven topics of conversation like blood pressure and cholesterol. Current clinical trials can help researchers determine one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, and society needs to be prepared for new and potentially challenging conversations, Penn Memory Center Co-Director Dr. Jason Karlawish wrote in his latest column on

"Will we talk with friends, family and co-workers about the results of our Alzheimer’s tests? How will these conversations change the ways we treat each other at home and at work? Answers to these questions engage deep social, cultural and ethical matters about the meanings and stereotypes we attach to the labels we use." Click here to read more.

Innovative story-telling group Theatre of Witness coming to PMC

Theatre of Witness, an innovative story-telling group focusing on deep listening and creative expression, is preparing for a six-week workshop at Ralston House.

Theatre of Witness is “a form of theater in which the true stories of people whose voices haven’t been heard are performed by the people themselves as a way for audiences to bear witness and humanize the other,” explained founder Teya Sepinuck.

Partnering with the Penn Memory Center and ARTZ Philadelphia, Sepinuck plans to bring together caregivers and loved ones living with dementia for six workshops 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays from April 6 to May 11. Click here to learn more

To register for the Theatre of Witness workshops, contact Teya Sepinuck at 215-680-0471 or

Burn calories to reduce dementia risk, study says


Seniors who live an active lifestyle lower their risk of dementia, according to a new study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Researchers followed 876 volunteers with an average age of 78, and found that those who exercised more had brain volumes that were 5 percent larger than those who exercised the least. Over the course of five years, those with the larger volumes had “a 50 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s-related impairment or dementia,” according to

“To the extent that they are showing changes on brain scans, that is compelling mechanistic data,” Penn Memory Center Co-Director Dr. Jason Karlawish told “What’s good for the heart is also good for the brain, and physical activity is one of those things.”

Save the Date:

Memory Café returns to Christ Church Neighborhood House Thursday, March 24 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. This program is available exclusively to our patients and their loved ones. Please RSVP by contacting Genevieve Ilg at 215-360-0257 or Click here to learn more or to watch a video from a recent Memory Café. 

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"I Am Life: Humanity in Advanced Dementia" welcomes Richard M. Rubin to tell the story of his late wife, Rebecca Barnard, as her dementia advanced to a profound stage. Rubin uses photography, narrative, audio, and video to bring home the depth of her loss and the persistence of her personality, her emotional life, her engagement with others, and her importance in their lives.

Penn Memory Center Co-Director Dr. Jason Karlawish will offer commentary and facilitate a discussion with the audience. "I Am Life" will be held 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 29, 2016 in Room 11-146AB Smilow Center for Translational Research, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Space is limited. Please reserve your seat by calling Terrence Casey at 215-898-9979 or emailing Click here to learn more about the event
Cognitive Fitness
has limited availability remaining for spring 2016 enrollment, and registration ends today. Follow the link below for details.
Caregiver Class,
a six-week psycho-educational class for those caring for a loved one with dementia, is now enrolling for the spring.
Dance for Health,
a pilot study evaluating dance on memory and fitness, welcomes members of the public to join in on upcoming dance sessions. 
Learn More
Copyright © 2016 Penn Memory Center, All rights reserved.

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