Ric & Jean Edelman and Edelman Financial Engines Donate $2 Million to Fund Alzheimer’s Documentary by Oscar-Winning Director Louie Psihoyos
Film Focuses on Clinical Trials That Might Show Consumers How to Slow and Reverse the Disease
FAIRFAX, Va.: Ric and Jean Edelman, and Edelman Financial Engines, the nation’s largest independent registered investment advisory firm, announced they have each committed $1 million in funding for a documentary focusing on groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s Disease by Dr. Dean Ornish. The documentary, scheduled for distribution in 2021, is being directed by acclaimed Academy Award-winning documentarian Louis Psihoyos.
Dr. Ornish, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is president and founder of the nonprofit Preventative Medicine Research Institute. He was the first to prove that diet and other lifestyle changes can reverse many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, early-stage prostate cancer, and cellular aging. The “Ornish diet” has been rated by a panel of independent experts at U.S. News & World Report as the “#1 for Heart Health” for the past nine consecutive years. Life magazine has called him “one of the 50 most influential members of his generation” and Forbes magazine says he is “one of the world’s seven most powerful teachers.” His current work, which is the subject of Psihoyos’ documentary, hopes to show that diet can slow, and even reverse, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“We are honored to support a film that can educate and offer hope to millions of people around the world,” said Ric Edelman, who is an award-winning financial planner. “We have seen what Alzheimer’s does, not just to the patient but to the entire family. Through this film, we hope to generate global attention on a solution that can help stop this dreaded disease.”
“The time has come for us to come together to defeat Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Jean Edelman. “Far too many families have been devastated by this horrible illness that robs people not just of their lives but of their dignity. We are proud to be supporting Dr. Ornish in his efforts and telling the world of his remarkable work.”
Alzheimer’s is indeed an insidious disease. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease. It afflicts 1 in 10 people at age 60, one in three at age 85 and half of all people by age 90. Despite billions of dollars spent on research over the past 30 years, there is still no diagnostic tool, no treatment, no cure and no vaccine. The disease is 100 percent fatal.
If Dr. Ornish’s clinical trials are successful, they would be the first demonstrated achievements at combating what an American Enterprise Institute study says is “the most feared of all diseases.”
“Thousands of our clients have been directly affected by Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Larry Raffone, CEO of Edelman Financial Engines. “We have seen first-hand the devastating effects on their families and their personal finances, and we are committed to helping our clients combat and ultimately defeat this terrible illness.”
Psihoyos received an Oscar for his direction of 2009’s “The Cove.” He most recently directed “The Game Changers” documentary featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, showing how world-class athletes rely on plant-based diets to achieve peak performance. “As a documentary filmmaker, my hope is to illuminate an important subject that creates impact and expedites much needed social change,” Psihoyos said. “I can think of nothing more exciting than illuminating Dr. Dean Ornish’s lifestyle medicine program because it could revolutionize our healthcare system by preventing and even reversing some of our most chronic and deadly diseases, including possibly Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Awareness is the first step in healing,” said Dr. Ornish. “We are deeply grateful to Ric and Jean and Edelman Financial Engines for their generous hearts in being the major sponsors of Louie’s new documentary about a new randomized clinical trial my colleagues and I are conducting to determine —for the first time — if lifestyle medicine (eat well, move more, stress less, love more) can reverse the progression of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. If this study is successful, this film will inspire and empower many people worldwide with new hope and new choices, since there are no drugs effective in reversing Alzheimer’s disease.”
Ric and Jean, and Edelman Financial Engines, are dedicated to raising awareness about the devastating financial impact of Alzheimer’s on both patients and their families. This philanthropic funding is part of their efforts to aid the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.