2023’s Biggest Live Talks, Part 1

By | December 27th, 2023

Being Patient's most streamed videos and podcasts of 2023 in review: Live Talks with Alzheimer's, dementia, and brain health experts — including scientists, doctors, caregivers and patients. Our TOP 10 list, part 1:

At Being Patient, we host regular LiveTalks with experts, advocates, and people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia as a part of our mission to bring you trustworthy information that’s easy to understand. In 2022, we had some amazing guests and extremely illuminating conversations. This year, we’re back with another year-end round-up of the LiveTalks that resonated most with all of you.

This past year was a big one for our Live Talks series. We hosted 46 different experts on our Live Talks series in 2023 — around 20 hours of time with leading Alzheimer’s and dementia experts and with families and people living with dementia, sharing their stories. Thousands of you tuned in from all over the world on our livestream, our YouTube channel and our podcast. In this part 1 of our Top 10 list, you’ll find:

  • an inside look at an Alzheimer’s drug trial,
  • a deep dive into dementia caregiving with a doctor and New York Times bestselling author,
  • an up-close-and-personal look at life with frontotemporal dementia (including early signs and symptoms),
  • the lowdown on statins and dementia, and
  • an Alzheimer’s expert’s take on why dementia misdiagnosis is so common — and how to work with the healthcare system to make sure your diagnosis is accurate.

Here are the first five of our 10 most popular talks of 2023. (Check out the second installment here.)

10. A Trial Participant’s Inside Look at New Alzheimer’s Drug Leqembi

This 10th most popular Live Talk was actually the first live talk of 2023. Featuring the experience of Leqembi (lecanemab) trial participant Gordon Van Slyke, it was one of the most popular videos on our YouTube channel. 

In the talk, Van Slyke shared his experience in the drug trials for Eisai and Biogen’s monoclonal antibody drug Leqembi (lecanemab). Speaking to Being Patient founder Deborah Kan, he also shared his reaction to the recent news of the drug’s FDA approval under the name Leqembi.

“It comes down to what you believe in as a person,” Van Slyke shared on his decision to participate in the trial, “if I can help my fellow man, I’m willing to do it.” 

By sharing his experience with the clinical trial and why he was motivated to do so, Van Slyke could demystify the clinical trial experience for many of the Being Patient audience. 

Read the article here or watch the video below of Gordon Van Slyke: A Trial Participant’s Inside Look at New Alzheimer’s Drug Leqembi.


9. ‘My Father’s Brain’: Dr. Sandeep Jauhar on Alzheimer’s Caregiving

In this talk, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Sandeep Jauhar joined us on Being Patient Live Talks to discuss his latest book, My Father’s Brain. This talk was one of our most popular talks on both YouTube and Spotify. 

Jauhar, the author of three other award-winning books, Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation, Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician, and Heart: A History, shared his experience as a son and a caregiver and spoke to us about this book. In particular, he shared his unique experience as someone with a medical background and why he wanted to write this book. 

“I wanted to write the book that I needed to have, that I didn’t have when I was going on this journey,” Jauhar reflects, “a book that explained the history and the science of dementia, that was a personal story that sort of recapitulated the conversations and the scenes that you know, so many families go through.” Ultimately, his “hope was that it would serve as a balm for people going down this road.”

Jauhar’s interview is an illuminating picture of the caregiver journey from a son’s perspective while also going into the history and science of Alzheimer’s that is featured in his book. 

Read the article here or watch Bestselling Author Dr. Sandeep Jauhar discuss his book My Father’s Brain below.


8. Laurie Scherrer on Early Signs, Current Symptoms, and Living Well With Early-Onset Alzheimer’s and FTD

In this talk, writer, advocate, and international speaker Laurie Scherrer joined us to discuss her experience with early-onset Alzheimer’s and FTD. This was one of our most popular YouTube videos. 

In the talk, she discussed early signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s and FTD, learning new things, powering past the bad days, and writing her way through it all in her blog, Dementia Daze. In particular, Scherrer spoke about how much she learned about Alzheimer’s and FTD from connecting with others at the Dementia Action Alliance.

“When you’re diagnosed with dementia, you get nothing, not even one piece of literature,” she explained, “You will learn more from people living with dementia than you will on the internet, and much more than you’ll ever learn from a doctor.” 

By explaining her experience, how she copes with symptoms, and the resources she’s found along the way, Scherrer gave our audience important context on navigating the “dementia daze.” 

Read the article here or watch Laurie Scherrer discuss Blogging Through Early-onset Alzheimer’s and FTD In ‘Dementia Daze’ below.

7. An Alzheimer’s Expert on Cholesterol, Statins, and Brain Health

In May, we asked University of Kentucky Neurologist Dr. Gregory Jicha to join Being Patient Live Talks to discuss the role of cholesterol in brain health. This was one of our most popular YouTube videos of the year. 

Because Jicha is currently researching the impact cholesterol has on the brain, he has researched how gemfibrozil, a medication to get high cholesterol levels in check, may also be able to treat dementia. With this research in context, he could share information about the potential of cholesterol medications to treat dementia. 

“A lot of the new thinking is, if it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain,” Jicha noted, “That’s a simple way for us to remember: things like cholesterol and exercise that prevent heart disease also prevent wear and tear on the brain.” 

By sharing context to help our audience understand cholesterol and explain some of his research, Jicha provided valuable information that people living with dementia and caregivers can keep in mind for better health outcomes. 

Read the article here or watch Dr. Gregory Jicha’s Live Talk on The Link Between Cholesterol and Brain Aging below.


6. ‘Don’t Let Doctors Dismiss Your Concerns:’ A Neurologist on Diagnosing Dementia

In this talk, Barrow Neurological Institute’s Dr. Marwan Sabbagh returned to discuss why misdiagnosis is common with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. This was one of our most popular YouTube videos, and he also returned for another live talk on genetics later in the year. 

In this discussion with our founder, Deborah Kan, Sabbagh drew on his experience as a neurologist to explain the process of dementia diagnosis and why misdiagnosis was so common. He also provided an explanation of MCI and how patients can better advocate for themselves. 

“The patient should be asking about the new blood tests, the new scans, the new technologies,” Sabbagh explained, “they should not be letting doctors dismiss their complaints.”

By providing context on diagnosing different dementias and how people can better self-advocate with their doctors, Sabbagh provided our community with the tools to understand diagnosis better.

Read the article here or watch the video of Marwan Sabbagh — Why is Dementia Misdiagnosis So Common? — below.

Check out our top five Live Talks of 2023 here tomorrow. And while we’re looking back, we’re also looking ahead: 2024 is going to be even bigger: Check out our upcoming LiveTalks and RSVP to save your virtual seat — We’ll see you there.

Katy Koop is a writer and theater artist based in Raleigh, NC.

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