A Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diet? A Kickstarter Project Aims to Find Out


Photo: Bread Head

Max Lugavere’s Kickstarter campaign is more than a fundraiser for his documentary. It’s an ambitious effort to wipe out Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Titled Bread Head: Can We Prevent America’s Most Feared Disease?, the film highlights the work of doctors, researchers, and scientists studying dementia and examines the impact of diet and lifestyle. Among the experts featured is neuropathologist Suzanne de la Monte of Brown University, who is doing work on the connection between Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Another doctor endorsed the film by saying it ”aspires to do for brain health what An Inconvenient Truth did for climate science.”

"The tone of the film is optimistic and empowering," Lugavere, a science buff and the host of AOL’s Acting Disruptivetold us. ”People already know Alzheimer’s is America’s most feared disease. What I can add that will make a difference is my ability to digest science in a way that’s interesting and compelling, to help people make changes in their lives.”


Photo: Bread Head

Lugavere’s inspiration is his mother Kathy, whose descent into dementia began three years ago when she was 59. Frustrated by the confusing diagnoses she received from some of the country’s top neurologists and the limited treatment they prescribed, her son knew there must be better ways to address the disease, not just the symptoms. I stand up and talk about my mom, but at the end of the day this project is about my generation and the next one, said Lugavere, who recently moved from Los Angeles to New York to be closer to his mother and to work on the film.

His Kickstarter campaign has raised $19,500 as of press time, and the goal is $75,000. Lugavere expects to start screening a rough cut of the film in six months. “Crowdfunding makes perfect sense because we’re raising money by building community and raising awareness,” he said.

Pledge levels range from $25 to $10,000. Perks include signed books, posters, bags, and DVDs of the documentary; private interviews and restaurant tours with Lugavere; tickets to the premieres; and visits to the set or composing room (travel not included). For the top pledge of $10,000, Lugavere will visit your association or school to talk about the filmmaking process and how to optimize brain health, and you’ll be listed as an associate producer in the credits.

People have been waiting for someone to stand up and talk about brain health and how to prevent certain diseases through diet, exercise, and information,” said Lugavere. “I’m asking people to spread the word.


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Does this sound like the sort of campaign you’d support?