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BRAINWeek Conference 2024 GAPS IN BRAIN HEALTH Putting Together The Pieces: Event Recap

BRAINWeek Conference 2024 Highlights

The BRAINWeek Conference 2024 took place on May 9-11 at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona. Hosted by BRAINWeek, the annual medical conference centered on brain health and wellness, featuring cutting-edge brain science and practical protocols alongside professional and personal development sessions. Attendees recharged, learned, and connected with experts, all amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Sonoran Desert. 

The front of the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa host of BRAINWeek Conference 2024
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona  

BRAINWeek Conference 2024 Day 1   

After enjoying a light breakfast in the exhibit hall, attendees gained insights into the pharmacological properties of cannabis and cannabinoids and patient care principles with Mark P. Garofoli, PharmD. They explored the role of the endocannabinoid system in maintaining neurological stability and its impact on chronic neurological diseases with Theresa (Tracey) Mallick-Searle, ANP. Ann Childress, MD, discussed the current state of disparities in ADHD, while Alon Y. Avidan, MD, addressed the implications of psychiatric comorbidities such as depression and pain on sleep health. Throughout day 1 of the BRAINWeek Conference 2024, discussions continued on the intricate connections between mental and physical health in brain wellness.  

Following lunch on their own, attendees reconvened to receive updates on treatments for ADHD from Ann Childress, MD, and essential elements of headache evaluation from Paul Mathew, MD. The day’s highlight was Wade Cooper, DO‘s keynote address, unveiling the link between migraine and the gut-brain axis and autonomic control.

Dr. Wade Cooper delivering keynote on migraines
Dr. Wade Cooper (Keynote)

The day concluded with a Welcome Reception, where attendees gathered in the exhibit hall to enjoy delicious appetizers and cocktails, fostering many new connections with colleagues.  

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BRAINWeek Conference 2024 Day 2

The second day of the medical conference started with freshly brewed coffee and a breathtaking sunrise over the Sonoran Desert. After a light breakfast, attendees immersed themselves in educational sessions covering a diverse range of topics, including headaches/migraines, neurological disorders, Alzheimer’s Disease, sleep disorders, and mental health. Here are some key highlights:  

  1. Dr. Shana Johnson, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, highlighted the interplay of migraine treatment with mental health disorders, stress, and sleep. 

  2. Our esteemed faculty member, Dr. Dani Cabral, emphasized the importance of early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and highlighted recent scientific advances in the field.  

  3. Dr. Da’mond Gadson, Psychological Therapist, highlighted the benefits of integrated mental health care.  

  4. Dr. Paul Mathew, encouraged formulating an effective treatment plan to help individuals and health systems reduce clinician burnout.  

On the main stage, Dr. Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, delivered an inspiring keynote address, equipping attendees with interactive, practical, evidence-based strategies to foster resilience and enhance well-being within the care continuum.  

Dr. Kristen Lee delivering the keynote on behavioral science for wellbeing
Dr. Kristen Lee (Keynote)
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Book signings for Dr. Shana Johnson’Sunbreak: Healing the pain no one can explain and Dr. Kristen Lee‘s Worth the Risk: How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World were immensely successful, with books running out quickly!  

Throughout the day, attendees enjoyed exhibit hall breaks and intimate conversations with thought leaders and peers while exploring new products and innovations. The Kierland Resort and Spa provided dining options, spa services, and opportunities for adventurous activities in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, allowing attendees to unwind and maximize their time outside the medical conference sessions.  

BRAINWeek Conference 2024 Day 3 

On the final day of BRAINWeek Conference 2024, “Psychedelic Saturday” began with Mark P. Garofoli, PharmD, offering a comprehensive introduction to psychedelics, covering pharmacology, trends, and legal aspects. Natalie Goldberg, LPN, followed with a moving session on psilocybin trauma, blending personal experience with professional insights. Her talk was a highlight, prompting a lineup of attendees who were deeply touched by her story and eager to ask questions.  

Natalie Goldberg, nurse educator, presenting on psilocybin
Natalie Goldberg, LPN

BRAINWeek Conference 2024 ended with a bang, as Mark P. Garofoli, PharmD returned to the stage to give another dynamic presentation. He kept the audience fully engaged, often sparking laughter, as he covered psychedelics, including FDA clinical trial recommendations and trends, while diving deep into specific psychedelics like ketamine, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and MDMA.   

After three transformative days filled with medical education, forging new connections, and enjoying gorgeous weather at this one-of-a-kind venue, attendees departed feeling deeply inspired and fully equipped to integrate the valuable clinical insights into their practice back home. 

Attendee Feedback   

The attendee experience is crucial for shaping the education curated by BRAINWeek. Following each medical conference, audience members are invited to provide feedback on everything from the venue and food to the education and overall experience. Here are some of the comments BRAINWeek received about the BRAINWeek Conference 2024 GAPS IN BRAIN HEALTH Putting Together The Pieces:   

We hope to see you at our upcoming live events!  

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