MANHASSET, NY —
Ron Duguay, a former New York Ranger and current Emmy Award-winning analyst for the MSG Network, is partnering with Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System) to promote Alzheimer’s education and awareness following his father’s death from the disease earlier this year.
Mr. Duguay recently visited Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY, and the Memory Disorders Center of the health system’s Neuroscience Institute in Great Neck, NY, to learn more about current research trials and therapies to treat Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Mr. Duguay’s father, Fernand, struggled with the debilitating disease for about eight years before passing away in February, and his mother has been diagnosed with dementia.
Peter Davies, PhD, the director of the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease at the Feinstein Institute, has played an integral role in the development of currently approved medications and has participated in numerous studies of Alzheimer’s disease, ranging from molecular genetics to clinical trials.
“We are delighted to partner with Ron Duguay as we continue to improve our understanding of the disease, as well as discover and develop other effective therapies,” said Dr. Davies. “It is equally important to continue to educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease, which affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans.”
Having played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) – including eight with the Rangers and three with the Detroit Red Wings -- during a time before helmets became mandatory, Mr. Duguay also has an interest in the impact of concussions and the long-term effects they have on the brain.
“I have spent the last 15 years learning as much as I can about these diseases to make certain my parents were getting the medical care they needed,” said Mr. Duguay. “I also recognized that genetically the possibility existed that I could be predisposed to both. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying educated on the advances in medical science has become the most important aspect of my life. I am thrilled to be joining my new team at Northwell Health to do my part to help educate those affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia.”
In partnership with Northwell Health, Mr. Duguay will participate in speaking engagements and news media interviews to talk about his personal experience with the disease and concerns as a former NHL player. He will also collaborate with Northwell Health on an Alzheimer’s education and awareness campaign, including a conference this November that the health system will host as part of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to promote activities that individuals can pursue to stave off memory loss.
“During the prime of Ron’s Duguay’s professional hockey career, we didn’t know then what we know now about the long-term impact of repeated head trauma on the brain,” said Paul Wright, MD, chair of neurology at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center, two of 21 hospitals within Northwell Health. “We still have so much to learn about the link between head injuries and brain disease as it pertains to professional athletes.”
After meeting with Dr. Davies and other Alzheimer’s researchers at the Feinstein Institute, Mr. Duguay visited the Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute’s outpatient neurology office at 611 Northern Boulevard in Great Neck, where he met with its multidisciplinary team of neurologists who treat a full range of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders, headache, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
In addition to working with Mr. Duguay, Northwell Health will be partnering with CaringKind, New York City’s leading advocacy group for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia caregiving. Dr. Davies, who has been a strong supporter of the organization, works with CaringKind and its community partners to develop information, tools and training to support individuals and families affected by dementia. Dr. Davies, Mr. Duguay and Dr. Wright recently attended CaringKind’s annual dinner in Manhattan.
To learn more about the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, click here. To learn more about Northwell Health’s Neuroscience Institute, click here.
About The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of Northwell Health, is home to international scientific leaders. We rank in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research institutes. We’re making breakthroughs in many areas, including genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity and immunology, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.