What Causes Dementia? Debunking Four Myths

Dementia is a complex condition with no singular cause — it doesn’t stem from one single lifestyle decision, and it isn’t an inevitable symptom of aging. But, there’s plenty of misinformation online claiming otherwise. Take these examples: Alzheimer’s is a condition affecting more than 30 million people worldwide. It causes problems with language, memory, and […]

The Link Between Depression and Dementia

More than 60 percent of people with dementia are also diagnosed with depression. There’s a lot of overlap in the symptoms between these two conditions, and some studies indicate that depression could even speed up the brain’s aging.  Scientists and clinicians believe understanding this dementia-depression link could help treat both diseases.   Is it dementia […]

Treating Diabetes Means Lowering Risk of Dementia

More than one in four adults over the age of 65 develops diabetes. This condition damages the pancreas, making it hard for the body to control blood sugar. Because blood sugar plays a key role in powering the brain, diabetes and brain health issues, including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, have some serious overlap. […]

When a Fall is a Red Flag for Cognitive Decline

Frequent falls may be a sign of something more serious. Cognitive testing could help rule out brain health problems. As people age, they may begin to lose muscle mass and bone density. It might make familiar physical activities substantially more challenging.  For adults over the age of 65, these changes could lead to falls — and […]

How Much Sleep Do You Need for Brain Health? 

Experts share why everyone might have different sleeping needs, along with guidance on overcoming insomnia.  Do you know if you’re getting enough sleep?  Scientists have analyzed the sleeping habits of millions of individuals, and found that sleep is important for maintaining brain health. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep even appears to reduce the risk […]

3 Possible Reasons Women Have Higher Alzheimer’s Risk Than Men

Research has established that women are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s. But, despite study after study into this sex-based disparity, scientists are still working to understand why. So far, research has shown that women have a few risk factors and warning signs that differ from men. Could these risk factors — like genes on […]

How to Reduce Dementia Risk By Lowering Cholesterol

“A lot of the new thinking is, if it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain,” says Dr. Gregory Jicha, a neurology professor at the University of Kentucky. “That’s a simple way for us to remember: things like cholesterol and exercise that prevent heart disease also prevent wear and tear on the brain.” […]

Three Ways to Help Dementia Caregivers Avoid Burnout

Helping the Helpers: How Caregivers and Care Partners Can Stay Healthy and Avoid Burnout When a person is diagnosed with dementia, family members are often the first to step up and help. Across the U.S., only about a quarter of dementia caregivers are from outside the circle of family and close friends.  Studies show that […]

Why is this new generation of Alzheimer’s drugs such a big deal?

Despite decades of study, the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s continues to evade scientists. Until recently, the only drugs available to patients targeted the symptoms of the disease, rather than underlying pathology. So, what’s the difference between treating Alzheimer’s symptoms and modifying the disease? The FDA approvals of the anti-amyloid drugs Aduhelm and Leqembi marked significant milestones in Alzheimer’s drug development. These two drugs […]

A Roadmap for Couples Facing a Dementia Diagnosis In NYC

The Memory Advocate Peers program supports couples newly diagnosed with dementia. What should you do when your loved one is newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? A new peer support program hopes to help by pairing those who are new to the community with experienced care partners so they can learn about the right resources and support […]

K2 Medical Research Recruiting for Trial of Alzheimer’s Drug Leqembi

Alzheimer’s anti-amyloid drug Leqembi (generic name lecanemab) was granted accelerated FDA approval last month. But, trials are still ongoing to verify the drug’s benefits to asymptomatic people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Presently, K2 Med is enrolling participants  for the AHEAD 3-45 trial. But, trials are still ongoing to verify the drug’s benefits to asymptomatic people at […]

What Role Do Amyloid Plaques Play In Alzheimer’s?

Amyloid plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The interesting thing is, not everyone who develops these plaques gets Alzheimer’s. Answering this question could reveal new clues about the underlying cause of the disease. Scientists don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s. But the brain’s of everyone with Alzheimer’s do share a hallmark: clumps of toxic beta-amyloid […]

Brain Power: Understanding Bioenergetics

The brain’s power generators, mitochondria, could hold the key to Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding them better is also shedding light on the potential of diabetes drugs in treating Alzheimer’s. Despite accounting for just two percent of our body weight, the brain consumes 20 percent of the body’s energy. Driving energy production to fuel the brain are […]

Alector & Abbvie’s Alzheimer’s Phase 2 Trial is Recruiting

K2 Medical Research is recruiting for a Phase 2 trial of Alector and Abbvie’s new experimental Alzheimer’s drug, AL002.  K2 is screening possible trial participants for a Phase 2 clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s drug called AL002. This antibody drug is designed to activate a receptor in the brain called TREM2. TREM2 is important because […]

Dogs for Dementia – Real Ones, and Robots

Long-term care homes are looking for new ways to improve the lives of their residents. Using dogs and dog robots, scientists have found an unlikely intervention that could reduce psychiatric symptoms in dementia.  There’s a good reason that cute dog videos regularly reach millions of views on YouTube or Facebook. Anyone with a dog will […]

Coffee & Alzheimer’s Disease – What’s the Verdict?

By: Simon Spichak With all the seemingly contradictory headlines, it is hard to tell whether coffee is good or bad for you. This article explores the issue. There’s nothing like the first cup of coffee in the morning to jumpstart the day. Because the average American drinks more than three cups of coffee every day, […]

Eli Lilly’s Donanemab Prevention Trial is Recruiting

K2 Med is recruiting for a new Phase 3 trial for Eli Lilly’s new Alzheimer’s drug donanemab. By: Simon Spichak K2 is screening possible trial participants for a Phase 3 clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s drug called donanemab. Donanemab is designed to target beta-amyloid plaques which clump in the brain and lead to inflammation that […]

Why Are Musical Memories the Last to Go in Alzheimer’s?

When it comes to music and the brain, there is a very special link. By: Simon Spichak When Tony Bennett’s family announced last February that he had Alzheimer’s disease, few could have guessed that the 94-year-old singer would still hold two major concerts — performing dozens of songs for huge audiences and recalling all the […]

Alzheon’s Experimental Alzheimer’s Pill Recruiting for Trials

K2 is recruiting for a new Phase 3 trial for Alzheon’s new drug, which aims to be the first oral disease-modifying therapy for Alzheimer’s. Join A Study Recently, K2 started screening possible trial participants for a Phase 3 clinical trial of a new Alzheimer’s drug. This drug, called valiltramiprosate, is designed to prevent protective forms of […]

Why can’t the brain regrow neurons?

Alzheimer’s kills brain cells. Can we help the brain make new ones? By: Simon Spichak If you scrape your knee or break a bone, new cells repair the damage before you even know it. Other organs in the body are even better at regrowing themselves: The cells lining the gut regenerate every three to four […]

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Melissa Belardo, APRN

Clinical Investigator

Melissa Belardo, is a certified family nurse practitioner (FNP-BC), joins K2 Medical Research with more than a decade of clinical experience. She has served as an investigator in over 20 trials. Prior to clinical research, she held roles in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nurse education.

Melissa’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Adventist University, followed by a master’s degree in Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgetown University.

Melissa is a native of the US Virgin Islands’ and is fluent in both English and Spanish; Melissa has lived in central Florida for the past twenty years. When she’s not at work, you can find her volunteering at her local church and spending time with family.