Alzheimer’s Drama Still Alice

Alzheimer’s Drama Still Alice and Julianne Moore Receiving Hollywood Actress Award

Alzheimer’s drama Still Alice

Among the winners of this year’s Hollywood Film Awards is Julianne Moore – she wins this award for her performance as a linguistics professor with Alzheimer’s disease in the movie Still Alice.

The Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s movie is based on the 2007 novel ‘Still Alice’, written by Lisa Genova, an American neuroscientist and author.

According to there are several ‘Alzheimer’s books’ – “written from many different perspectives, including caregivers, family members and physicians”. The Site lists over 300 books & titles, where ‘Still Alice’ (Paperback) by Lisa Genova is listed first, shelved 185 times as Alzheimer’s, whereas lists the top 100 most popular titles related to Alzheimer’s disease.

As per the Site there are 8 films that deal with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This includes: Away From Her (2007) – with Julie Christie, Oscar-nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Fiona; The Savages (2007) – about children caring for a parent with dementia; Aurora Borealis (2006) – with Donald Sutherland and Louise Fletcher, where Sutherland plays a grandfather with dementia; The Notebook (2004) – about Allie (Gena Rowlands), who is in a nursing home due to Alzheimer’s disease, see more.

The movie ‘Still Alice’ is about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden decline into early onset Alzheimer’s disease. In this movies Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a linguistics professor at Columbia diagnosed with familial Alzheimer’s disease, whereas Alec Baldwin plays her husband, John, and Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish play her children, Lydia, Anna and Tom.

The Plot

Alice Howland, a linguistics professor at Columbia University, celebrates her 50th birthday with her physician husband John and their three adult children. After she forgets a word during a lecture and becomes lost during a jog on campus, Alice’s doctor diagnoses her with early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease. Alice’s elder daughter, Anna, and son, Tom, take a genetic test to find out if they will develop the disease. Alice’s younger daughter Lydia, an aspiring actress, decides not to be tested.

Critical response

Julianne Moore’s performance garnered widespread critical acclaim and won her the Academy Award for Best Actress (see above), the first of her career after four previous nominations.

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Still Alice has a “Certified Fresh” rating of 85% based on 206 reviews, with an average rating of 7.40/10. The site’s consensus reads, “Elevated by a gripping performance from Julianne Moore, Still Alice is a heartfelt drama that honors its delicate themes with bravery and sensitivity.

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Why we bring out this short story?

BrainImmune published over 15 articles and posts related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This includes the brain glymphatic system’ and dementia, the role of neuroinflammation and several cytokines, including IL-33, etc.

We also discuss the connection between stress and the increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This covers the work of Lena Johansson, outlining the  contemporary concepts and research trends related to the long terms effects of stress and their impact on risk and development of Alzheimer’s disease in women.

Of note, it appears that women specifically are more prone to stress-related disorders and have greater associated morbidity; they also react to stress with greater cortisol response, limbic system activation and cytokine activity as compared with men.

Additionally, another study from Sweden, where Lena Johansson is a first author, indicates that stress in middle-age women is associated with increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease decades later in life. This is perhaps the first population study on the relationship between midlife stressors and increased risk of dementia in late life.

Interestingly, as per new research revealed that every stressful event was equal to 1.5 years of brain aging across all participants, except for African-Americans, where every stressful event was equal to 4 years of brain aging.

Moreover, a 2019 report based on the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area study indicates that a greater number of recent stressful life events, but not of more remote stressful events, was associated with greater verbal memory decline by in women but not in men.

Related stories you may like:
Lena Johansson, Stress and Alzheimer’s Risk in Women
Large Population Study Links Stress in Middle Age Women to Dementia and Alzheimer’s Risk Decades Later
New Evidence that Stress May Increase the Risk of Developing Dementia and Alzheimer’s: the Einstein Aging Study