2023’s Biggest Live Talks, Part 2

By | December 28th, 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 2:

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 the top 5 talks of 2023,

  • a personal account of living with one of the best-known genetic Alzheimer’s risk factors,
  • a writer and academic leader on living a full life with Alzheimer’s disease
  • a doctor and the mother of a patient describing frontotemporal dementia
  • an “Ask Me Anything” discussion with dementia caregiving expert Teepa Snow
  • a helpful explainer from a doctor about what we know — and what we don’t know — about the science behind diet and fasting for brain health.

Here are the top five of 2023’s top-10 list — check out the rest of 2023’s top 10 list here.

5. A Biotech Leader On Living With ‘Alzheimer’s Gene’ ApoE4

Also, one of our January talks, this conversation with biotech leader Wendy Nelson and her experience getting ApoE4 testing, was one of our most popular. It was one of our most popular YouTube videos and podcast episodes! 

In the talk, Nelson shared how she decided to pursue genetic testing with 23andMe, what the process was like, how she felt when she got her results, and most importantly, what she did with the information. In addition, she spoke about her experience as a biotech leader and as a scientist, which helped her process the knowledge that she had two copies of the “Alzheimer’s gene.” 

“I think it took me a little time to swallow that pill. But then, I’m a scientist, so I’m not going to just sit back and accept my likely fate,” Nelson explained, “I wanted to figure out what I can do about it.”

By sharing her experience and advice for people considering genetic testing, Nelson provided important context to our audience about ApoE4. 

Read the article here or watch biotech leader Wendy Nelson discuss Living with ApoE4, the Alzheimer’s Gene, below.

4. ‘Not Your Grandma’s Alzheimer’s’: Ivy League Leader Paves New Path Towards Advocacy

In this talk, former college president and author Rebecca Chopp joined us to discuss what she calls “not my Grandma’s Alzheimer’s” and the role advocacy and art have come to play in her life. As our fourth top-viewed YouTube video, she shares her diagnosis experience and how she became an accomplished painter while living with Alzheimer’s. 

At the time of the talk, Chopp was working on her soon-to-be-released book, Still Me: Accepting Alzheimer’s Without Losing Herself. She previews essential lifestyle and prevention measures related to Alzheimer’s in this upcoming book. 

“You can live a fuller life for your family, for your friends, and for you,” Chopp advised, “Do some things that are good and fun, or as my neurologist said: live with joy.” 

Providing lessons on her diagnosis journey, learning new things, and advocacy, Chopp’s talk is a powerful interview on living rather than dying with dementia. 

Read the article here or watch Rebecca Chopp’s Live Talk, An Ivy League Leader Paves a New Path Towards Alzheimer’s Advocacy, below.

3. What Is FTD? Dementia Experts Explain Symptoms, Diagnosis and Caregiving

Following the announcement of Bruce Willis’s frontotemporal dementia (FTD) diagnosis, we invited Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dr. Brad Dickerson and Katie Brandt to discuss the disease from a caregiver and a medical perspective. 

Answering questions from our audience on symptoms, diagnosis, and caregiving for FTD, both experts provided insights from their work as educators and advocates for FTD in Boston and around the country. Brandt, who has spoken with Being Patient previously on the impact of her late husband’s frontotemporal dementia diagnosis, also touched on her experience with brain donation. 

“When I made the choice to donate my husband’s brain,” Brandt noted,” it finally felt like my first power play against the disease.”

The interview, drawing on Brandt’s experience as a caregiver and advocate, and Dickerson, providing a medical perspective as the Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Frontotemporal Disorders Unit and Neuroimaging Lab in Boston, answered critical questions about FTD for the Being Patient audience. 

Read the article here, or watch a video of the conversation with Katie Brandt and Dr. Brad Dickerson on Understanding Frontotemporal Dementia below. 

2. Your Dementia Caregiving Questions Answered: a Q&A with Teepa Snow

In February, dementia caregiving expert Teepa Snow joined Being Patient Live talks to answer questions about caregiving from our audience. This was one of our top-viewed videos on YouTube and our most popular podcast episode. 

Throughout the talk, Snow gave invaluable advice on dealing with the stress of caregiving, hallucinations, hospital stays, agitation, and more. Drawing on her experience as an occupational therapist and her Positive Approach to Care (PAC) strategies, she modeled ways to “step into dementia’s reality.” 

“If you can’t find something you like every day, your primitive brain will tell you that you are not thriving,” Snow explained, “Frankly if you have no ability to thrive, you will not survive long as a carer. You will start to burn out and deteriorate.”

Through her advice to caregivers, not only practical caregiving advice but also advice for learning to ask for her, the interview is a trove of advice for people embarking on this difficult journey. 

Read the article here, or watch the full “AMA” with dementia care xepert Teepa Snow below.


1. Dr. Valter Longo: Can a Fasting Diet Prevent Alzheimer’s?

As one of the first live talks of the year, this Live Talk with USC biogerontologist and founder of the Prolon fasting-mimicking diet, Dr. Valter Longo, was also the most popular, getting the most views on YouTube of the live talks produced this year.

In this talk, Longo returned to Being Patient Live Talks to discuss his latest research on fasting and brain health. He also gave a primer on the value of short-term fasting to benefit brain health. 

“The fasting-mimicking diet is a reasonable, feasible way to achieve the effects of fasting or a very particular type of fasting for a very defined length,” Longo explained, “It’s a very sophisticated system, and we must be knowledgeable and respectful of it.” 

While he’s still researching fasting and how it can impact brain health, his interview shows the value of considering a fasting-mimicking diet for brain help a couple of times a year. He also speaks to the history of fasting in the context of human evolution. 

Read the article here, or watch Fasting and the Brain: The Latest Research With Dr. Valter Longo below.

The year ahead 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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