DGA Foundation Commits $500,000 to Study Ways to Delay Alzheimer's Dementia

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The UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center

The money will be paid to the MPTF to support a wellness program with UCLA

The Directors Guild Foundation is making a 10-year, $500,000 commitment to the Motion Picture & Television Fund to support the creation of the DGA Foundation Cognitive Wellness Program in partnership with the UCLA Longevity Center.

It will support research into ways to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia symptoms, it was announced Thursday, especially “the relationship between cognitive health and wellness programs,” according to the announcement.

“We look forward to gathering insights that will ultimately help entertainment industry members live healthier and richer lives,” said Bob Beitcher, MPTF president and CEO.

“We hope this work will add to the quality of life of our members and that of the entire entertainment community,” said Donald Petrie, chairman of the Directors Guild Foundation, “helping each of us to remain active longer than ever before.”

“Recent scientific evidence indicates that lifestyle habits such as physical and mental exercise reduce Alzheimer’s risk and may forestall symptom onset,” according to the announcement.. “Over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.”

At least 140 people in the entertainment industry will be recruited as volunteers at The Saban Center for Health & Wellness on the MPTF’s Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Dr. Scott Kaiser, MPTF's chief innovation officer, who will lead the study for the MPTF, said the “grant will allow us to develop novel programs, directly informed by our research, and implement them to both improve the health and well-being of our community and have a broader impact in a world facing an alarming rise in the prevalence of dementia.”

UPDATE: Nov. 8, 1 pm - A quote was improperly attributed to UCLA doctor Gary Small. New information was provided that UCLA will only be involved in the research for two years. 

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