Pelak receives Ginsburg Visionary Award

Three researchers, who share AWARE’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease, will receive the Helen J. Ginsburg Visionary Award at AWARE’s 13th annual Memories Lost and Found Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at the Denver City Center Marriott.

University of Colorado researcher Victoria S. Pelak (photo), MD, is one of the honorees. Her research investigates cortical visual processing, with a particular interest in the effects of aging and dementia on visual motion processing. She is exploring new methods to diagnose and track cortical visual dysfunction in early Alzheimer’s disease.

Keynote speaker for the luncheon will be baseball great Steve Garvey who has Alzheimer’s on both sides of his family. For tickets, visit or contact Kay Landen at [email protected].

The Helen J. Ginsburg Visionary Award acknowledges an individual, family, or organization that shares AWARE’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. Award recipients are also reflective of the example Ginsburg has set with her creativity, tenacity and leadership, and ability to see possibilities, recognize gaps and respond to identified needs.

Helen J. Ginsburg is a longtime Denver community activist who founded AWARE in 1997 in honor of her mother. AWARE is an all-volunteer auxiliary of the Alzheimer’s Association, Colorado Chapter, whose singular mission is to raise funds to end Alzheimer’s disease.

With partial support from the prestigious Zenith Society which AWARE supports, Gary Landreth, PhD, another honoree and his research team at Case Western Reserve University have published preliminary study results which show that an FDA approved cancer drug therapy called bexarotene, when administered to mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, rapidly lowered levels of soluble beta amyloid and amyloid plaques.

The third honoee is Robert G. Nagele, PhD, and his research team at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who have identified a diagnostic blood test with a 90 percent-plus rate of determining Alzheimer’s disease. The study identified 10 autoantibody biomarkers that can effectively differentiate Alzheimer’s disease.

Founded in 1997 by Denver community activist Helen Ginsburg, AWARE is an all-volunteer auxiliary of the Alzheimer’s Association, Colorado Chapter, whose singular mission is to raise funds to end Alzheimer’s disease. AWARE’s success in raising money for research to increase the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease was recognized by invitation to join the prestigious Zenith Fellows which funds Alzheimer’s disease research and consists of individuals and organizations who commit to providing $1 million in funds.

The Alzheimer’s Association, Colorado Chapter, is the premier source of information and support for the more than 72,000 Coloradoans with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers. Through its statewide network of offices, the Alzheimer’s Association offers education, counseling, support groups, Medic Alert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return® and a 24-hour Helpline, at no cost to families, and funds advancements in research to prevent, treat and eventually conquer this disease. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association recruits, trains and mobilizes advocates for those living with Alzheimer’s and their families on related legislative issues at the state and federal level, and provides training and education for professional health care providers. For information call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800-272-3900, or visit

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