May 23, 2016 12:15 PM

'Move for Minds' funds additional research of women's brains, diseases

Comparing the size and function of male versus female brains has been a topic of conversation for many centuries. Unfortunately, actual scientific research of the female brain has lagged far behind that of men’s brains - especially when it comes to disease detection and prevention.

Did you know that Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disproportionately affect women? Women have twice the chance of getting Alzheimer’s as men.

Is it hormonal? Does menopause place one at a higher risk? Medical experts don’t know the answers to these questions and funding for this kind of research is low.

That’s why leading Alzheimer’s advocate Maria Shriver has teamed up with Equinox Sports Clubs to host a fundraiser called “Move for Minds.”

In six cities across the country Saturday, hundreds of women exercised together as a way to raise money. That money is being used to research neurological diseases as they affect the female brain.

In Boston, fund-raising participants were joined by former Massachusetts First Lady Ann Romney. Ann and her husband former Gov. Mitt Romney founded the Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston. Additional agencies involved in this type of neurologic research include: The Alzheimer’s Association, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and The Lou Ruvo Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

*Personal Note: Like most of the women who participated in the fundraiser, I have been impacted by this disease. My father recently died after spending the last years of his life with Alzheimer’s. My father-in-law had Parkinson’s disease and, after intense suffering, died from its effects. Recently, my husband and I placed his mother in a memory care facility because she can’t remember to care for herself. Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease.

If you would like more information about “Move for Minds” please visit their website at:

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