Yearly Archives

2017

Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Partners with UCI MIND to Launch New Women-Focused Research Initiative

By In the News

More than 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. Two-thirds of them are women. The initiative will fund critical new women-based research. ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., (December 5, 2017) — A new partnership in Orange County, California is seeking answers to an essential question affecting global health: Why do more women get Alzheimer’s disease than men? UCI MIND, the University of California at Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, has announced a new research initiative in partnership with the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM), a non-profit organization founded by former California First Lady Maria Shriver. The initiative, based on collaborative fundraising by both…

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New study estimates 47 million Americans with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

By In the News

In a study published today in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, UCI MIND faculty members Drs. Claudia Kawas and Maria Corrada, and colleagues at UCLA, reported the first estimates of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) prevalence in the United States. According to the study, 2.4 million Americans are living with MCI due to AD (memory and other cognitive problems that do not meet criteria for dementia), and this number is expected to more than double by 2060. Moreover, the researchers estimated about 47 million Americans have preclinical AD, the presence of amyloid accumulation and/or neurodegeneration with no symptoms of memory…

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Love, Marriage, and Alzheimer’s disease

By Commentary

Numerous studies have shown links between lifestyle factors and risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. A new assessment of available studies by investigators at University College in London examines one lifestyle factor, marriage, and finds that people with a spouse may be at decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In contrast, widows and people who have been single their whole lives may be at 20-40% increased risk. At UCI MIND, a variety of studies have explored the implications of spousal status on Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. In particular, we’ve shown that people with Alzheimer’s who lack a…

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A December to Remember ticket sales end Thursday at noon!

By Community Events, In the News

Don’t miss an unforgettable evening of fun and philanthropy in support of Alzheimer’s disease research this Saturday, December 2nd at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach! If you haven’t done so already, purchase your ticket or table today to join esteemed researchers from UCI MIND, gala honorees Maria Shriver and Suzy Melin, and philanthropists for one night that will have a lasting impact in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Tickets & Event Details A December to Remember Sponsors The Beaumont Family, in Honor of Dr. Jacqueline DuPont The Covington Elite OC Productions HCP, Inc. Susan and Frank Kavanaugh Robert...

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MIND Matters, Fall 2017 Newsletter Now Available

By In the News

In this issue of MIND Matters: New grants awarded for cutting-edge science Interview with research participant, Jerry Leth Philanthropist highlight, Steve O’Leary Maria Shriver, celebrity honoree for 8th annual A December to Remember gala Donations to UCI MIND, September 2016 to September 2017 Read more here >

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An unforgettable evening in support of Alzheimer’s research

By Community Events

Saturday, December 2nd, is your opportunity to directly support cutting-edge research at UCI MIND, OC’s only state and federally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center! Join hundreds of community members for an evening of fun and philanthropy at A December to Remember gala at the Balboa Bay Resort. Mingle with esteemed researchers from UCI and internationally renowned Alzheimer’s advocate, Maria Shriver, who will be honored at the event for her work with The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. Tickets & Event Details A December to Remember Sponsors The Beaumont Family, in Honor of Dr. Jacqueline DuPont The Covington Susan and Frank Kavanaugh Robert...

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Bill Gates invests in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease

By In the News

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates, blogs on why he has decided to invest in Alzheimer's disease research. He notes, "What I’ve heard from researchers, academics, funders, and industry experts makes me hopeful that we can substantially alter the course of Alzheimer’s if we make progress in five areas: We need to better understand how Alzheimer’s unfolds. We need to detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier. We need more approaches to stopping the disease. We need to make it easier to get people enrolled in clinical trials. We need to use data better." Read more about Gates' commitment to Alzheimer's disease...

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Perspectives on amyloid PET imaging

By Commentary, In the News

A new study published in JAMA Neurology explored participants’ perspectives on receiving amyloid PET scan results as part of an Alzheimer’s disease prevention clinical trial, the A4 study.  Participants at UCI MIND contributed to this important research, led by investigators at the University of Pennsylvania (read more about the study here). Amyloid PET is a biomarker test that could someday be used to identify people at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease who may benefit from preventative or disease-delaying treatments. Biomarker testing such as amyloid PET is being used more and more in the research setting to identify participants appropriate for Alzheimer’s disease…

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New UCI MIND animal model grant continues to draw attention

By In the News

UCI MIND co-director Frank LaFerla and Drs. Andrea Tenner, Kim Green, Grant MacGregor, Marcelo Wood, and David Baglietto-Vargas were awarded an $11.35 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create the next generation of mouse models to study Alzheimer’s disease. The news released by UCI on October 9 continues to draw local media attention, featured in the LA Times/Daily Pilot and Newport Beach Patch this morning. UCI MIND is already home to the discovery of the first ever mouse model to develop both amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the two hallmark pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease. Created by Dr….

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UCI MIND Announces Maria Shriver as Celebrity Honoree for 8th Annual A December to Remember Gala

By Community Events, In the News

Maria Shriver, internationally renowned Alzheimer’s disease advocate, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and former First Lady of California, will be honored at UCI MIND’s 8th annual A December to Remember gala on Saturday, December 2, 2017. “Maria Shriver is a champion for Alzheimer’s disease research and a voice of strength for many families and individuals who are suffering as a result of this disease,” says Dr. Joshua Grill, co-director of UCI MIND.  “We are proud to partner with Ms. Shriver and honor her important work that continues to shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease.” Shriver is the founder of…

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Do you have questions about brain health and Alzheimer’s disease?

By Community Events

Join UCI MIND for its quarterly ASK THE DOC session where a panel of expert researchers and clinicians from UC Irvine will answer all of your most pressing questions! Date: Friday, October 27, 2017 Time: 10:00am-12:00pm Location: Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter (770 The City Drive South, 1st Floor, Orange 92868) Space is limited! Reserve your spot online bit.ly/UCIASKTHEDOC or by calling 800.272.3900. For questions, please contact 949.824.9475.

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Research participant highlight – The Groves

By In the News

Marsha and Lionel Grove met in high school and have been married for over 50 years. Marsha graduated from UCLA and worked as a clinical laboratory scientist. Lionel is a USC alumnus and aerospace engineer. They now both participate in multiple studies at UCI MIND. What motivated you to participate in research at UCI MIND? Marsha: Our families are surrounded by Alzheimer’s disease. My sister and my mother both died with Alzheimer’s disease and Lionel has it in his family as well. We’ve experienced it first hand, so we want a cure to be found because we know just how…

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Today is World Alzheimer’s Day!

By Commentary, Community Events

Today, September 21, is WORLD ALZHEIMER’S DAY! Our faculty and staff are spending this day, as they do every other day: In the laboratory performing cutting edge research with molecules, cells, and animal models to unlock the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and identify treatment targets Working with volunteer participants who have donated their time to help us better understand, diagnose, and treat Alzheimer’s disease through research Conducting clinical trials of promising therapies we hope will prevent, reduce, or reverse Alzheimer’s disease We hope today you will consider doing one or all of the following: ADVOCATE: Write to your local, state, or federal representative and communicate the need for increased funding for Alzheimer’s research and improved…

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UCI gifted $200 million for Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences

By In the News

Frank LaFerla, PhD, Co-Director of UCI MIND, Dean of the UCI School of Biological Sciences Today, UCI announced a transformative gift of $200 million to create the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences (press release).  The gift is the largest in the history of the university and will launch and will launch a major integrative health initiative that will ultimately benefit all members of the Orange County community and the world. You may be wondering what is integrative medicine?  In the simplest terms, it is an approach that focuses healthcare on the whole person and the whole community, using...

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Blood test for Alzheimer’s disease? UCI MIND investigator, Dr. Mark Mapstone comments

By Commentary, In the News

By now, most Alzheimer’s researchers have seen the writing on the wall. If we are to realize successful treatments or even a cure for Alzheimer’s disease we must turn our attention from the study of patients who have already developed dementia to those who are in the earliest stages of the disease where presumably, the brain pathology is less extensive and possibly more receptive to intervention. This shift to studying preclinical disease will allow us to determine exactly what the earliest brain changes are and hopefully, develop means to treat, reverse, or even prevent these changes years before the symptoms…

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Recent publication on chronic traumatic encephalopathy in American football players

By Commentary

By S. Ahmad Sajjadi, MD, PhD, MRCPAssistant Professor, Neurology In the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from Boston University published seminal findings on the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players. Understandably, the study has generated numerous headlines. CTE is characterized by abnormal accumulation of a protein called tau in specific parts of the brain after repeated head trauma, leading to abnormal behavior, cognitive decline, or both. In the new study, the largest study of its kind, post mortem examination of the brains of 202 football players revealed a high prevalence...

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Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Lindsay Hohsfield wins AAIC Poster Competition

By In the News

Photo provided by the Alzheimer's Association Dr. Lindsay Hohsfield, postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Kim Green, was awarded first prize in the Basic and Translational Science Poster Competition at the 2017 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London. Her work demonstrates the critical role of microglia (immune cells of the brain) in Alzheimer's disease pathology. UCI MIND congratulates Dr. Hohsfield on this important accomplishment! Click the video to learn more about Dr. Hohsfield's presentation at AAIC.

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Dr. Claudia Kawas receives AAIC Lifetime Achievement Award

By In the News

UCI MIND congratulates Dr. Claudia Kawas, recipient of the Alzheimer's Association International Conference Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Kawas was honored at the 2017 conference in London for her lifetime commitment and contributions to the field of Alzheimer's disease research. Press release > Photo provided by the Alzheimer's Association

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Dr. Joshua Grill Addresses Corporations’ Role in Combating Alzheimer’s

By In the News

Co-Director Dr. Joshua Grill and his colleague from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Jason Karlawish, wrote an article for Forbes regarding the role companies must take to fight Alzheimer's in our country. "More than 5,000,000 Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. The cost of their care exceeds $250 billion annually, making this disease more costly than heart disease or cancer. Corporations are incurring costs as well. Adult child caregivers are likely to be working full-time, and therefore they must sacrifice substantial earning potential at precisely the time in life when savings are essential to providing for other dependents, retirement, and...

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Days 4 & 5: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London

By In the News

The final 2 days of AAIC 2017 were informative and collaborative for UCI MIND researchers. Day 4 included poster presentations by Chelsea Cox and Dr. Ahmad Sajjadi, and Day 5 featured a lecture by Dr. Andrea Tenner on the biology of complement risk genes in Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, Dr. Lindsay Hohsfield was awarded first place in the postdoctoral poster competition held earlier in the week. We congratulate Lindsay on this accomplishment and all our investigators who shared their cutting-edge work at AAIC this year! In the news, Dr. Gil Rabinovici from the UCSF ADRC presented initial results from the IDEAS...

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AAIC 2017 Research Update: Stress raises risk of Alzheimer’s for African Americans

By In the News

An important presentation by UCI MIND’s Dr. Maria Corrada, delivered on July 16 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, has generated substantial media attention. The presentation discussed results of a joint study between UCI and Kaiser Permanente researchers, which demonstrated that the increased risk for dementia among African Americans compared to whites known to occur in “younger old ages” persists in people in their 90’s. To read more about this and other work presented at the conference on the risk for dementia among African Americans, click here.

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AAIC 2017 Research Update: Diet & Brain Function

By Commentary, In the News

CNN has featured data presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, which offer the latest support to the value of a healthy diet to late life brain function. The study by investigators at UCSF and University of Michigan examined a national cohort for adherence to the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is associated with lower risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, two conditions linked to Alzheimer's disease. In line with several previous studies, the investigators found that those who eat a diet composed largely of plants and healthy fats (found in fish, nuts and olive oil, for example) are...

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Day 2: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London

By Commentary, In the News

Day 2 at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference featured a poster presentation from Dr. Chuang-Kuo Wu on his research to better understand and diagnose posterior cortical atrophy (video) and a lecture from Dr. S. Ahmad Sajjadi on higher education as a protective factor against cognitive decline in the oldest-old. Over 5,600 researchers and clinicians are in attendance at the conference this year, providing UCI MIND exciting opportunities to learn from and share findings with our global partners in the fight to solve Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

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Day 1: 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London

By In the News

Day 1 of the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London has been productive for UCI MIND researchers! Dr. Claudia Kawas was honored for her dedication and contributions to the field with the esteemed Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Maria Corrada presented on the racial and ethnic disparities of dementia in people 90 years and older, Dr. Lindsay Hohsfield was selected to participate in a highly competitive postdoctoral poster competition, and Dr. David Baglietto Vargasshared his discovery of the first sporadic Alzheimer's disease mouse model to develop human amyloid beta, which will allow researchers to more effectively investigate disease pathology...

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Dr. Ruth Benca publishes important findings on sleep quality and Alzheimer’s disease risk in Neurology

By In the News

UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Ruth Benca, and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, published a paper in Neurology yesterday on the link between sleep quality and risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study included 101 cognitively healthy older adults believed to be at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease based on self-reported family history or presence of the APOE e4 risk gene. Participants answered questions about their sleep quality and underwent a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, so that Dr. Benca and her team could analyze biological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). What they found was...

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Maria Shriver’s Move for Minds event features Dr. Joshua Grill at Irvine Equinox

By Community Events

On June 4, Maria Shriver brought her Move for Minds event to the Irvine Equinox Sports Club to support women’s brain research into Alzheimer’s and raise awareness of the fact that Alzheimer’s disproportionately impacts women. For the second year in a row, UCI MIND Co-Director Dr. Joshua Grill served as a panelist at the event. After an introduction from Maria Shriver herself, Dr. Grill spoke on the disproportionate risk for Alzheimer’s disease among women and then took questions from the audience, who had just completed a brain-healthy workout. The event was simultaneously held at Equinox Sports Clubs in New York, Los Angeles,...

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CDC reports 55% increase in U.S. deaths due to Alzheimer’s

By Commentary, In the News

Today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed what researchers at UCI MIND have long known to be true: Alzheimer’s disease is an escalating public health crisis that requires increased attention. The report examined rates of death due to Alzheimer’s disease from 1999 to 2014 and found a staggering 55% national increase over that time. Rates were higher among women than men and among non-Hispanic whites compared to other racial/ethnic populations. However, over this time period Alzheimer's death rates saw a greater increase within minority groups compared to non-Hispanic whites. The report also confirmed that the number of Alzheimer’s deaths is highest in...

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Volunteer, Steve O’Leary, raises awareness of Alzheimer’s disease research and UCI C2C Registry

By Community Events

Yesterday, UCI MIND volunteer Steve O'Leary shared his powerful story to help raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease research and the UCI C2C Registry with members of his congregation at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in San Juan Capistrano. We are grateful for the time and energy Steve and so many others commit to helping advance Alzheimer's disease research at UCI MIND. We could not do it without the support of our dedicated community members!

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A major development in the fight against Alzheimer’s

By In the News

UCI MIND Co-Director, Dr. Frank LaFerla, discusses Alzheimer's disease research funding with CNBC... California, one of the few states that does Alzheimer's research, has even cut back its funding, said Dr. Frank LaFerla, dean of the UCI School of Biological Sciences at University of California Irvine. "Almost all funding comes from the NIH now," he said.   Dr. LaFerla, who is waiting for his own Alzheimer research grants to be approved, is also an advocate. He also takes regular trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress to push for more money that creates "a healthy ecosystem in the...

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CANVAS, Betty’s Foundation, Music & Memory, and UCI MIND partner to raise awareness on music and Alzheimer’s disease

By Community Events

Several incredible organizations came together on Sunday, April 30, in Marina del Rey for an explosion of sound, spirit, and information. CANVAS and Betty’s Foundation were joined by Music & Memory and UCI MIND for an incredible evening that featured live musical performances, touching portrayals of the impact music can have on the lives of people with dementia, and a lecture on the neuroscience of music from UCI MIND’s own Dr. Joshua Grill. The powerful evening concluded with CANVAS making a donation of $1000 to Betty’s Foundation to support their work as a non-profit organization committed to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease. Betty’s...

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UCI MIND investigators discuss their recent publication in Neuron

By Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND investigators Mathew Blurton-Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior, Wayne Poon, PhD, Director of UCI MIND Tissue Repository, and Edsel Abud, MD/PhD student, have created a method to generate brain cells called microglia using human skin cells. Here, they discuss their findings and what it means for Alzheimer's disease research in an interview with Chelsea Cox, Associate Director of Education: What is microglia and what role does it play in Alzheimer's disease? Poon: Microglia are the immune cells of the brain. They play a big role in the inflammation of the brain that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease. How can...

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Stem cells made from skin used to generate new brain cells

By In the News

UCI-led study to advance understanding of the role of microglia in Alzheimer’s disease Using human skin cells, University of California, Irvine neurobiologists and their colleagues have created a method to generate one of the principle cell types of the brain called microglia, which play a key role in preserving the function of neural networks and responding to injury and disease. The finding marks an important step in the use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for targeted approaches to better understand and potentially treat neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. These iPS cells are derived from existing adult skin cells and...

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UCI researchers announce urgent need for Alzheimer’s clinical trial participants

By In the News

"UCI MIND, Orange County’s only state and federally funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, is calling on Orange County residents age 65 to 85 who have normal memory function to help in meeting its urgent need for study participants in an active clinical study now underway. The researchers are hoping to find new ways to prevent, slow, and/or stop Alzheimer’s disease before it begins..." read more>

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FDA approves 23andMe for limited direct-to-consumer genetic risk testing

By Commentary, In the News

On April 6, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) partially reversed an earlier decision to halt direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing by the company 23andMe, a personal genomics company based in Silicon Valley. The new decision approves the company to provide “genetic health risk reports” for 10 diseases, including 8 rare disorders—Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, Celiac Disease, Early-Onset Primary Dystonia, Factor XI Deficiency, G6PD Deficiency, Gaucher Disease, Hereditary Hemochromatosis, and Hereditary Thrombophilia—and two common age-related neurological disorders—Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). After age, the strongest risk factor for AD is genetics. The e4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE) is by…

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Moving from the bedside to the desktop: Dr. Joshua Grill on employing analytics to further Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial designs

By In the News

Researchers spanning the nation are working to employ analytics to drive real changes for patients with various conditions. Joshua Grill, PhD, co-director of the Memory Impairments Neurological Disorders Institute at University of California Irvine, details how he and fellow researchers are using analytics systems for clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease research and how data may shape trials moving forward…

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A quick cure for Alzheimer’s?

By Commentary, In the News

Letters: A quick cure for Alzheimer’s? OC Register, March 29, 2017 Re: “Is Alzheimer’s treatment of injecting stem cells into the brain a breakthrough or quackery?” [News, March 5]: The Register recently reported on a local neurosurgeon who is injecting liposuctioned stem cell serum into the brain of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease for $10,000 per treatment. The neurosurgeon says the patient is improving…

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UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Claudia Kawas, awarded 2017 Potamkin Prize!

By In the News

American Academy of Neurology March 22, 2017 UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Claudia Kawas, was announced as one of two recipients of the 2017 Potamkin Prize for her dementia research in The 90+ Study. Dr. Kawas has studied over 1,700 people over the age of 90, called the “oldest-old,” to understand more about brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease in the fastest-growing population segment throughout much of the world.  The $100,000 Potamkin Prize is an internationally-recognized achievement, sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of Alzheimer’s research. The other recipient, Dr. Kristine Yaffe from UCSF, focuses on modifiable risk factors for dementia, such as sleep disturbances and traumatic…

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2017 Research Update: Intense Study, Rapid Progress

By Community Events

On March 14, UCI MIND’s community partner, Alzheimer’s Orange County, held their annual Research Update on Alzheimer’s disease at the Bowers Museum. The update was, for the second straight year, delivered by UCI MIND Co-Director, Dr. Joshua Grill. Dr. Grill described the current “state of the science” in understanding Alzheimer’s disease risk and way to lower that risk, new tools for use in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, and the critical pursuit of FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies. If you were unable to attend, you can watch a video here, courtesy of Alzheimer’s Orange County. If you’d like to attend a future lecture by UCI…

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Hundreds attended UCI MIND’s “Ask the Doc” at South OC Senior Day on March 10th

By Community Events

Thank you to all who attended UCI MIND’s “Ask the Doc” this morning at South OC Senior Day provided by Senator Pat Bates and Assemblyman Bill Brough! Drs. Joshua Grill, Aimee Pierce, Mark Mapstone, and Kim Green answered many important and thoughtful questions from over 500 community members. Still have questions? Be sure to join us at our next “Ask the Doc,” May 2nd at Alzheimer’s Orange County. Register here>  

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