Sharon Rogers Ph.D Creative and Tenacious in fighting Alzheimer’s Disease

Sharon Rogers Ph.D Creative and Tenacious In Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease


She is one tenacious woman who has dedicated her career to neuroscience and to finding creative ways to work with others in the search for treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s. In the podcast Sharon talks with enthusiasm about her fascination with neuroscience and how she is optimistic that new ways of treating the disease are evolving all the time. Her own personal leadership style, her tenacity and dogged determination have been her hallmark.  Sharon’s Pearls of Wisdom and financial advice are well worth staying tuned for. Sharon Rogers Ph.D is CEO of AmyriAD a company that works on treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s has a disproportionately greater effect on women’s lives. More women get Alzheimer’s although that is changing she says. Women often take time out of busy careers to care for relatives and partners with the disease, and so they often lose out at important promotion points in their career paths.

Women though are a crucial and an influential part of the fight against the disease. Sharon has pulled together a team of dedicated and mostly female leaders to work on these treatments and believes women have had to evolve their leadership style in different ways to those of men partly because of evolution.

“I think that that may go way back into the history of civilization. I think that by and large women we are the smaller, we’re not going to survive based on brute strength and the dominant theories, what we’re going to survive on is based sometimes on our ability to cajole sometimes on our ability to outsmart sometimes on a lot of different ways of handling people. And sometimes it’s a matter of looking at a more dominant player, seeing what is it that they need out of the interaction. And you can’t tell me that a mother was children doesn’t know how to figure out how to deal with those situations where you’ve got a group of people fighting, and you’ve got to sort it out. Personally, I don’t have children, so I cannot draw from that marvelous experience. But you do spend a lot of time realizing that you can’t go in and dominate all situations, you have to find a better way and the best way to make that successful is find a way we’re just pretty much everyone can come out feeling like they didn’t lose much.


Social Interaction In Women’s Lives Has Advantages

There is good news for women Sharon Rogers believes particularly when you look at how society has changed since Alzheimer’s was first studied. You have to go to a sort of a broader sociological perspective on women’s lives, especially women’s lives when Alzheimer’s disease was initially being diagnosed and looked at as a problem.

Alzheimer’s disease is highly dependent upon social interaction, work, stimulation, mental stimulation, all these things keep our neurons active and functional. In the past, when women were more in the home, less active, with less stimulation, less demand on on their brains for neurotransmission. That lack of stimulation allowed the symptoms of the disease to present themselves earlier, and so it was definitely the case were around 60% of subjects in clinical trials were women, and about 40% men. When you look at the demographics of women entering clinical trials, now women and men, you’ll see that it’s getting closer to parity. Because over the last few decades, we have had more women in the workplace, more women who have valid active social lives that enrich them. Women are just doing more, they’re in the news more, they’re constantly doing and achieving. And this is very good for our brain activity, you’ll find in a lot of cases, with the brain, it’s like your muscles, use it or lose it. If you sat in a chair all day every day and never got up and then you decided you wanted to go out and take a run down the street, that would be a gruesome undertaking for your body. It’s the same thing for your brain. If you’ve been more homebound, not had a lot of social stimulation, not necessarily aware of the news, your duties and your function or are sort of limited into a small group of activities that you do every day, your brain is not going to be as resilient, it’s not going to be able to stretch when you need it.”

Leadership Style

On leadership style Sharon Rogers believes that you don’t have one leader out front, taking all the glory. “You bring everyone from your team up on the celebration float with you and celebrate together. I saw that leadership in action when I was quite young, in the industry and I watched this person lead that way and I watched the accomplishments of the team. I always kept that in mind that no team is any better than the people who are really slugging along and they’re making things happen.”

Dr Sharon Rogers shares her Five Pearls of Wisdom, her advice on managing personal finances and her go to song by Lady Gaga ‘Born this way’.


Angela Mezzetti
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