Welcome to Memory Keepers!
The Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team is focused on understanding the dynamics of diabetes and dementia as interacting conditions among people living in tribal and rural communities. Led by Dr. Neil Henderson (Oklahoma Choctaw), the team will work to preserve brain health by collaborative, community based research. The origin of the name, “Memory Keepers” Medical Discovery Team is significant. In many American Indian cultures, respected adults and Elders of the tribe are responsible for preserving sacred medicine bundles, songs, and stories. By prevention or aggressive management of diabetes, the risk of vascular, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias can be reduced. In this spirit, the research to preserve brain health will enable American Indian communities to continue to benefit from the wisdom of their adults and Elders far into the future.
We assume a syndemic approach to illness and disease and promote strength-based community-based approaches to research. Because rural populations are also plagued by dementia and diabetes, the Medical Discovery Team will develop interventions and research to meet the challenges of health disparities among people living their lives far from the resources of urban population centers.