2021 Healthy Brain Webinar Series for People with IDD

Please join us for 2021 Healthy Brain Webinar Series for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities!
View 2021 HBI Webinar Series on the HealthMatters Program YouTube Playlist

May 25th, 2021 (1pm-2pm CDT)
Brain Health Across the Lifespan for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Lucille Esralew, PhD, NADD-CC, Office of Statewide Clinical Services, Clinical Services Branch for the California Department of Developmental Services

Overview. This webinar will present best practice and policies that can support healthy habits for brain health among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan (e.g., from early intervention through retirement). Dr. Esralew will discuss what we know about the trajectory of healthy brain aging for persons with IDD and how good brain health can help people realize their abilities and optimize their cognitive, emotional, psychological and behavioral functioning to cope with life situations. Considerations about aging with a disability and with dementia will be discussed. The use of the National Task Group–Early Detection Screen for Dementia (NTG-EDSD) as a brain health screen tool will be presented, along with using the EDSD as a tool to promote health and advocate for health to determine if signs and symptoms of change in brain health exist. Lastly, strategies to mitigate Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias (ADRDs) for people with IDD and their caregivers will be discussed through the six pillars of health (physical exercise, food and nutrition, medical health, sleep and relaxation, mental fitness, social interaction). 

June 29th, 2021 (1pm-2pm CDT)
Nutrition and Brain Health for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Dawna Torres Mughal, PhD, RDN, LDN, FADA, FAND, Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences at Gannon University


Overview. This webinar will focus on the role of nutrition in brain health across the life span. It includes guidelines for reducing risks for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their caregivers. Since promoting brain health is multifactorial, the webinar will also discuss the importance of physical activity, sleep and relaxation and social interactions to the individuals’ overall health How do you enhance these lifestyle factors? Hypertension (high blood. Pressure), diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol), and obesity are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Practical dietary principles will be discussed that can help persons with IDD and caregivers reach their health target in these areas. It should be noted that although certain nutrients help with brain function and disease treatment, what matters is not one food or one nutrient but the total dietary pattern individualized to each person’s needs. The nutrients will be translated to culturally appropriate food choices. 


1. Webinars are free.
2. CEUs are not offered for the webinars.
3. Webinars and materials will be recorded and archived on YouTube.
4. For disability accommodations email Jasmina Sisirak (jsisirak@uic.edu).
5.Webinars will be held on Webex platform. You can test your connection with Webex before joining the meeting HERE.

Healthy Brain Webinar Series is presented by the HealthMatters Program (https://www.healthmattersprogram.org), Department of Disability and Human Development, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago in partnership with National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (NTG) and is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, The Healthy Brain Initiative Award #1 NU58DP006782-01-00 supported the development of this website. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of CDC.

Previous Webinars

Healthy Brain Initiative for People with IDD (May 4, 2021)
Beth Marks, PhD, RN, FAAN, HealthMatters Program, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Valerie Gruss, PhD, APN, CNP-BC, FAAN, Clinical Professor, Director ENGAGE-IL Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), UIC
Matthew P. Janicki, PhD, UIC, US National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices
Kathy Service, RN, MS, FNP-BC, CDDN, US National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices
Jasmina Sisirak PhD, MPH, HealthMatters Program, UIC
Watch Webinar on YouTube

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