After Maria Shriver's father, Sargent, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2003, the journalist became dedicated to learning more about brain health. By her side was son Patrick Schwarzenegger, a model and entrepreneur who wanted to find an efficient way to help her spread the word.
That led to them developing MOSH, a nutrition bar made with ingredients to support the brain, but before coming up with the final product, the mom-of-four did years of research.
During that time frame, she noticed that "more and more women were being diagnosed" with things like Alzheimer's, but when she brought up the subject to doctors, they insisted that her claims weren't true, and that it's just "perception" since women live longer. Not liking what she heard, the star did her own investigation.
"Lo and behold, what they were telling me was incorrect. So we did a big report to the nation, which reported that women were two thirds of those who got Alzheimer's," she revealed. "And nobody knew why that was because research into women's health is decades, decades behind men's health."
"We don't know the effects of birth control on a woman's brain. We don't know why women are three quarters of the autoimmune disease [population]. We don't know anything about how women age," she stated. "So I started the Women's Alzheimer's Movement to fund research into women's brains and to see what was going on with women."
She wound up producing a documentary and books about the topic, but people would often ask her what vitamins she takes or what she eats, as science has taught us that disease can arise from an individual's lifestyle.
Since we now "know about food and its impact on the brain, meditation, stress, all of these things," she ventured out to see if she could help create a protein bar for women — but she was shot down by everyone she chatted with.
"They're like, 'Nobody wants to take anything for brain health. It's not an industry. And by the way, nobody wants to start a company for women your age,'" Shriver recalled being told. "And I was like, 'Well, why?'"
Then, during quarantine, her son told her, "I know people who can help you. Let's look at all the supplements that you're taking and let's try to get as many of them as possible into a bar and make a bar focused on brain health that will raise money for women gender-based research, and voila, MOSH was born."
The TV correspondent noted that there are certain drugs that can slow down the effects of Alzheimer's, but there's no way to completely cure it once you have it, which is why she and researchers are "trying to understand how people get it in the first place."
To do so, they are looking at people of all ages and asking things like, "How do they live? What are they eating?"
"We know very, very little about how people develop neurological [diseases]," she said. "So that's where the research is going. Much of the research that the women's Alzheimer's movement is funded is focused on women in mid-life estrogen, hormone replacement, type 2 diabetes, looking at the impact of sugar on the brain..."
Added the Midnight Sun actor, "Once you have it, there's not much you can do, but I think one of the things that we're talking about is prevention for people that are [my] age and stuff like that. We're in the driver's seat today. There's things that we can do today that will impact our brain health tomorrow or next year, or when we are, 50, 60 etc. And there's a lot of things that are being proven to be quite helpful for the brain."
Ingredients in MOSH bars include MCT oil, Ashwagandha and Omega 3's.