The Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic offers and supports a variety of conferences, seminars and events for patients, families, caregivers and professionals.

The center aims to:

  • Develop and promote state of-the-art-care and wellness for patients and families affected by mild cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Increase awareness and decrease stigma through education and outreach

Mayo Clinic Conference on Brain Health and Dementia

The Mayo Clinic Conference on Brain Health and Dementia was hosted virtually on Friday, October 29th, in collaboration with AARP and the Alzheimer's Association. Thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world participated to learn about research updates and innovations, the arts, living well, and finding a hope-inspired, better path forward.

"There are ways to improve the lives of those living with dementia. Individuals, organizations and communities are finding solutions that address the isolation, loneliness, sense of marginalization and the emotional needs of those impacted by dementia and their care partners. This important conference was focused on showcasing many of these initiatives, resources and opportunities for uncovering what is sure to be a brighter path forward," said conference director Angela M. Lunde, M.A.

Steve and Anne Wagner welcomed attendees at the start of the conference and then closed out the general session by sharing their experiences of living with dementia and finding hope in each day.

Conference highlights included:

  • Jason Karlawish, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, shared the history of Alzheimer's disease and provided insight on how we can support those living with dementia and their caregivers at the policy level.
  • Carl Hill, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer of the Alzheimer's Association, presented on diverse populations who have an increase likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. He focused on important work at the individual, research and policy levels that is needed to decrease disparities and improve health and well-being.
  • Expert panelists from Mayo Clinic, AARP, the Alzheimer's Association and the University of Minnesota answered questions and discussed current happenings and progress in dementia and caregiving research.
  • A collection of national and community innovators working to improve the lived experience of those impacted by dementia came together in a session called HOPEFEST. Some examples included virtual reality, music and dementia-friendly community building in diverse neighborhoods.

Three workshops rounded out the day with sessions on mindfulness in dementia caring, a panel discussing challenging ethical issues in dementia, and an inspirational and engaging workshop on the power of singing in a chorus.

Watch videos from the 2021 Mayo Clinic Conference on Brain Health and Dementia:

Anne and Steve Wagner — Opening

Anne and Steve Wagner, a couple living with dementia, welcome attendees to the 2021 Mayo Clinic Conference on Brain Health and Dementia.

Alzheimer's — The Truth About Where We've Been — A Vision to do Better

Dr. Karlawish highlights three pioneers of Alzheimer's research and examines how we can honor their legacies at the policy level, including support for policies such as long-term care social insurance.

Diverse and Underrepresented Populations — Addressing the Obstacles

Dr. Hill presents on factors that increase the likelihood of members of diverse populations developing Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Brain Health and Dementia — The Science, the Research and the Hope

With Dr. Hill moderating, panelists Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., Sarah Lenz Lock, J.D., and Tetyana Shippee, Ph.D., gave updates and discussed innovations in the fields of research, caregiving and brain health before addressing questions about their research.


HOPEFEST is a showcase of national and community innovators working to improve the lived experience of those impacted by dementia.

A Brighter Path Forward — The Community Answer

Sarah Lenz Lock, J.D., of AARP and the Global Council on Brain Health, presents on the importance of community living in promoting brain health and walks through six key steps to support brain health.

Giving Voice

Giving Voice is a chorus made for people with dementia and their caregivers. Hear from members of choirs across the state of Minnesota about the power of music on their quality of life.

Anne and Steve Wagner — Closing

Anne and Steve Wagner return to close out the conference and share where they find hope.