Challenge 66 – Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement?


Every 66 seconds, a brain develops Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of those brains are female

A new organization called the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement recently launched a challenge called Challenge 66 that aims to raise funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Find out everything you need to know about Challenge 66 and this new organization today.

What is the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement?

The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is an organization founded by Maria Shriver, an American journalist, activist, author, and ex-wife to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The organization’s About page describes itself as “a global alliance of individuals, organizations, researchers, foundations, influencers and industry leaders” who are committed to determining why Alzheimer’s affects women more than men.

Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s, and the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement aims to figure out why.

Maria Shriver, by the way, was committed to launching the fight against Alzheimer’s disease after she watched her father, Sargent Shriver, get diagnosed with the disease in 2003.

Shriver has been battling against Alzheimer’s in various ways since 2003, including through HBO’s Alzheimer’s Project, her March to End Alzheimer’s, her First Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Fund, and the Wipe out Alzheimer’s Challenge. The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is Maria’s latest effort.

What is Challenge 66?

Challenge 66 is challenging women around the world to “Give 66 of whatever you can to support research on women’s brains”.

It’s a fundraising campaign not just for women, but “for anyone with a brain”. The goal is to wipe out Alzheimer’s, support “gender-based research”, and help save brains around the world.

They also want to inform the public about the connection between lifestyle and the health of your brain.

Why the Number 66?

Why did the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement settle on the number 66? As mentioned at the top, a brain develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds.

Here’s the important part: two out of three of those brains are female brains. As the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement explains,

“No one knows why. We’re determined to find out.”

That 66 seconds stat, by the way, just refers to the United States: every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. If you extrapolate that to the rest of the world, someone in the world gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 3 to 5 seconds.

Other Important Stats About Alzheimer’s

The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement has posted a number of important stats at its website, including:

  • $226 billion is the direct cost to the American economy from caring for those with Alzheimer’s
  • 5.4 million Americans today live with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s begins to develop in the brain 20 years before diagnosis
  • Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s
  • More than 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women

How Does Challenge 66 Help?

Challenge 66 has four specific goals with its campaign, including:

  • Inform women about their increased risk of Alzheimer’s, including the steps they can take to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s
  • “Influence scientists to conduct gender-based research and ignite new women’s Alzheimer’s research funds at organizations across the United States
  • Raise money to support gender-based research through an annual crowd-fundraising event, Move for Minds, and other Events
  • Share the stories of families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and partner with organizations to provide caregiver relief grants

Essentially, the goals break down to Research, Education, Prevention, and Caregiving.

Challenge 66 aims to encourage researchers around the world to focus their attention on why Alzheimer’s affects the female brain more often than the male brain. If you want to support the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, Challenge 66, and Maria Shriver’s Alzheimer’s research, then you can donate today by visiting their official site here.

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