Prevention and Effective Treatment for Cognitive Loss
The Kemper House Family’s Focus is Prevention and Effective Treatment for Cognitive Loss
By Shirley MacFarland, special to cleveland.com
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Kemper House Residential Alzheimer’s and Dementia homes have cared for and supported Clevelanders impacted by dementia for over 20 years. In recent years, Kemper has set its sights on prevention and pushing back against cognitive loss.
“My mom and I started Kemper Cognitive Wellness at a time when studies were beginning to indicate effective strategies to push back against cognitive decline,” says Kristin Kemper West, LNHA, president of Kemper Cognitive Wellness and vice president of Kemper House.
“My family has been impacted by the devastation of Alzheimer’s for generations,” she said.
Today, Kristin cares for her father at Kemper House.
“With these advances, I thought, ‘Finally, there is hope in this fight — hope for me and my siblings and for my kids.’ I dream of a day when Kemper House becomes obsolete because we have solved this Alzheimer’s epidemic.”
In 2019, Dr. Nate Bergman joined Kemper Cognitive Wellness as chief scientific wellness officer. Together with a multidisciplinary team, Bergman uses precision medicine to identify drivers of disease and applies personalized programs to treat symptoms at their source.
“We are seeing firsthand, in our clinic, that Alzheimer’s is often treatable,” he said.
The key, he notes, is to act early. Seek out a diagnosis as soon as you notice symptoms. If you have a family history, don’t wait for symptoms — “a proactive stance is your best bet.”
Today, Kemper Cognitive Wellness is treating children of current and former Kemper House residents.
“Alzheimer’s can be genetic, but genetics are not necessarily your destiny,” says Bergman. The science of epigenetics demonstrates that lifestyle choices we make can turn on or off certain genes.
“With the right information and plan, it’s possible to have two copies of the APOe4 gene and live a long, healthy life with minimal symptoms or even no symptoms at all,” he said.
The recent FDA-accelerated approval of the drug Aducanumab has brought more attention to a significant aspect of fighting cognitive loss: Seek out a diagnosis early — as soon as symptoms are present — for greater opportunities to push back, halt or delay progression. Aducanumab may slow decline in those in early stages of dementia.
Aducanumab is the first drug to target one of the underlying drivers of Alzheimer’s disease — the buildup of toxic amyloid beta protein clumps in the brain. It was created by chemists to mimic aspects of the human immune system to find, stick to and dissolve amyloid beta clumps in the brain, effectively reducing the total number of clumps present.
Delivered by intravenous infusion monthly, Aducanumab comes with a hefty price tag ($4,312 per infusion) and a number of manageable side effects.
Bergman notes: “I’m cautiously optimistic about the incremental improvement that Aducanumab may bring to some people in early stages of Alzheimer’s. What seems evident is that higher doses of Aducanumab may slow down cognitive decline to some extent in individuals with mild symptoms.”
For those who are proactive about their brain health or concerned about cognitive decline, Kemper Cognitive Wellness’ comprehensive assessments and personalized protocols are available for a fraction of the cost of Aducanumab.
Read Bergman’s complete remarks on Aducanumab at kemperwellness.com/news or call 855-337-1400, extension 105.
Kemper House is locally owned and operated by the Kemper family, lifelong residents of the Cleveland area. Kemper House values the uniqueness of each resident, celebrates their individual abilities, and fosters personal dignity. Kemper House is located in Strongsville and Highland Heights. Go to www.kemperhouse.com for more information.
Kemper Cognitive Wellness is among the nation’s leading brain health centers for prevention, testing, services, and support for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Led by Bergman, the robust team of clinicians at Kemper combines functional and conventional medicine with personalized care to consider the entire person and address symptoms at the source, effectively pushing back against cognitive decline. Kemper Cognitive Wellness is located in Rocky River. Go to www.kemperwellness.com
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Thank you so much for the loving care and compassion you showed to our mother and to us during her stay and death. We know, she was not the most compliant person, buy you showed her the same loving care no matter what. We were blessed to have her in your care. You are truly all angels. Thank you again!
I want to take the opportunity to thank you for the wonderful care you gave my dad the last 5 1/2 months of his life. If he couldn’t be at home with my mother, you were the next closest thing.
Thanks to the staff for your ongoing care of my Dad. Your patience, kindness and caring for Dad help my Mom and I rest easy knowing he is in good hands at all times. Thanks for everything you do for him!
Every time my family visits each week for their porch visit mom looks FABULOUS! You and your whole organization really understand what to do with the residents and I have seen an amazing change. You are a blessing to our family.
Thank you also for the very touching and beautiful memorial service and luncheon honoring Mom and Dad. It meant a lot to us to have all of you share your remembrances of them.
Marianne & family
We greatly appreciate all that you have done for my Dad and for us. Your compassion, dedication, and gentle ways were a tremendous help. No one ever said to us, “It will be okay,” instead you said “We’ll help you.”
Alzheimer’s and dementia are formidable foes and they strip the individuals stricken of all of their dignity, yet you and your staff work diligently to reinstate the dignity and you do it quite successfully.
This is to thank you and all the Kemper staff who organized the memorial service last Friday. The content was perfectly appropriate and many of the participants expressed compliments to the kitchen staff for the great luncheon.