Is it dementia? Dr. Jason Karlawish helps you identify the signs

Aging happens differently for everyone and forgetting some details for daily tasks is not always cause for alarm. But there are signs that you or a loved one are showing signs of dementia or other diseases, like Alziemer’s. Dr. Jason Karlawish published an article with AARP as part of their Disrupt Dementia campaign.

Dr. Karlawish a researcher on the Healthy Brain Research Network and the Cognitive Aging Communication Project, both funded supplements to the UPenn Prevention Research Center. He also serves as the director of the Penn Memory Center.  Dr. Karlawish writes about what to look for and the risks involved with allowing the disease to progress without intervention.

Read about the signs to look for and his personal experience with an aging parent here. Tweet about your experiences, using the hashtag #DisruptDementia and tag @AARP and @jasonkarlwish.

PRC Researcher Jason Karlawish in Forbes: Alzheimer’s Disease Patients Aren’t Zombies

In Forbes,  PRC Researcher Jason Karlawish, MD, challenges the social stigmatizing of Alzheimer’s in an article titled “Alzheimer’s Disease Patients Aren’t Zombies; They’re People And We Need To Treat Them Like People.”  Karlawish said, ” The inspiration came from a class I taught this semester on the public health challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.  The students and I discussed the stories of Alice Munro and how they pull the reader in and out of different realities.  The lives of the patient and the caregiver aren’t a juxtaposition of the unreal versus the real.  They both live in the surreal.  The challenge of living with Alzheimer’s disease, whether as patient or caregiver, is to negotiate this “surreality.”

Healthy Aging in Action: Recommendations from the U.S. Surgeon General


healthy-aging-in-action-surgeon-general-cdc-11-7-16U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy and the National Prevention Council release:                                                                            

Healthy Aging in Action: Advancing the National Prevention Strategy


Healthy Aging in Action (HAIA) identifies recommendations and actions to promote healthy aging and improve health and well-being in later life. HAIA highlights federal and nonfederal policies and programs that reflect the National Prevention Strategy’s approach of targeting prevention and wellness efforts to promote healthy aging to further advance the Strategy for an aging society.

The Healthy Aging in Action aims to:

  • Support prevention efforts to enable older adults to remain active, independent, and involved in their community;
  • Highlight innovative and evidence-based programs from National Prevention Council departments and agencies and local communities that address the challenges related to physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being that are often encountered in later life; and
  • Inform future multisector efforts to promote and facilitate healthy aging in communities.

The National Prevention Council, comprised of 20 Federal agencies and chaired by the Surgeon General, developed the HAIA with input from key stakeholders and the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.


Framing Alzheimer’s Disease as a Humanitarian Crisis: Jason Karlawish in Forbes


Writing in Forbes Magazine, UPenn PRC Researcher Jason Karlawish, MD, asks what it means when an Alzheimer’s patient loses the autonomy to live safely in his or her home and turns to adult day care, assisted living, or other types of facilities. “Refugees need asylum, and those exiled from their home by Alzheimer’s disease should be able to find safe harbor in these places,” says Karlawish. “We ought to view moving there not as a failure to care but as part of the story of leaving one home for another.”

Broadening our understanding of Alzheimer’s beyond the medical diagnosis is a next step, according to Karlawish. “Framing Alzheimer’s as a humanitarian crisis ties together the many diverse but interconnected sufferings: the millions of caregivers who struggle to make a typical day for the patients, struggle because their will to care is frustrated by a system ill-equipped to educate them about what to do, where to find care and how to pay for it. It explains how the causes of the Alzheimer’s crisis aren’t simply a biomedical problem in need of better drugs but a social, economic and political problem.”


VIDEO: Jason Karlawish on Understanding Alzheimer’s @Penn 2016 Alumni-Faculty Exchange

JKarlawish-May2016-LDI AlumEvent

UPenn PRC researcher and Penn Medicine physician Jason Karlawish was one of the top Penn experts taking part in a day-long series of health research-related presentations for the 50th anniversary gathering of the Penn Class of 1966.

Karlawish addressed the challenges that Alzheimer’s disease presents to science and society. “The other area of research we’re doing, in addition to better ways to diagnose or treat the disease is to figure out better ways to learn how to live with the disease and address some of the emotional, social and cultural challenges we face as we push these diagnoses into increasingly more normal and non-clinically significant stages.”