Yearly Archives

2019

Why I Support UCI MIND

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Keith Swayne, UCI MIND Leadership Council It is humbling to be recognized as Philanthropist of the Year, particularly when I think about the many individuals who are working to make a difference in the world. The OC National Philanthropy Day event brought together Orange County philanthropists and non-profit organizations to celebrate our shared vision of improving our community. This is what drives me. I wish to use my voice to connect people and organizations to achieve more and help others. I have strived to do this over the last five years with my involvement with UCI MIND. Alzheimer’s…

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VIDEO: “What is the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s?” with Dr. Ira Lott

By In the News

Facebook Live Series - ASK THE DOC: Alzheimer's Research Today! This monthly series features short talks and Q&A with experts from the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), 1 of 32 congressionally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation. Join UCI MIND on Facebook (@UCIrvineMIND) to learn about advances in research to improve Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Episode 11: "What is the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's?" This month, we’re joined by Ira Lott, MD, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Neurology at UCI School of Medicine. Dr. Lott is...

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Updates on Biogen’s Aducanumab from CTAD

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD On Thursday, December 5, attendees at the Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) Conference heard more from Biogen about its recently resurrected drug, aducanumab (see previous Blog). New data were presented that were consistent with what had previously been shared. Biogen claims that a single positive Phase 3 trial of aducanumab and a secondary analysis of data from a second, negative Phase 3 trial suggest a benefit among patients receiving the highest dose for the full duration of the study (18 months). In both cases, high dose aducanumab appeared to slow the rate of disease...

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What is the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s?

By In the News

Tune in this Friday, December 6th @ 9AM for the next episode of our monthly Facebook LIVE series, “What is the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s?” This month, we’re joined by Ira Lott, MD, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Neurology at UCI School of Medicine. Dr. Lott is a child neurologist at UCI and CHOC Children’s Hospital and Director of the UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program, which studies Alzheimer’s disease in individuals with Down syndrome. His research has been supported by the NIH, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the State of California, including the largest clinical research grant for Down…

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UCI MIND Investigators Named AAAS Fellows

By In the News

UCI MIND faculty members, Tallie Z. Baram, MD, PhD and Marcelo A. Wood, PhD are named among nine UCI researchers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Baram, the Danette Shepard Chair of Neurological Science and Director of the Conte Center at UCI, is recognized for her distinguished contributions to the understanding of childhood and febrile seizures as well as early life adversity on brain development and their enduring consequences. Dr. Wood, Professor and Chair of Neurobiology & Behavior, is recognized for his distinguished teaching and contributions to the field of memory and addiction, particularly the…

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Public Perception of Dementia Risk and Risk Reduction

By Commentary, Community Events

Contributed by Chelsea Cox, MPH, MSW, Associate Director of Education In a recent study, researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed survey responses from over 1,000 adults age 50 to 64 to learn about their perceived risk for developing dementia and any actions they take to reduce their own risk. The study found that more than half of respondents believed they were not likely to develop dementia, with this outlook being more common in non-Hispanic blacks who are, in fact, at a greater risk of developing dementia than non-Hispanic whites. The vast majority of respondents reported having never discussed risk…

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Dr. Ruth Benca and other leading experts discuss “The Future of Brain Health” (VIDEO)

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Ruth Benca, discussed sleep, brain health, and Alzheimer’s disease at the October 2019 #MIHealthSummit in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Milken Institute. The session opens with a conversation with Maxine Waters, U.S. Representative of California, followed by a panel discussion among leading researchers and policymakers on the latest evidence regarding reducing risk for cognitive decline, including nutrition, exercise, sleep, socialization, and stress management. View the plenary session below.

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First-of-its-kind study links the sleeping brain to toxin-clearing

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Bryce Mander, PhD A new landmark study from researchers in Boston was published in Science this month. This study linked human brain waves during deep sleep, called “slow waves,” with the pulsating flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) through the brain.   This study is important because it is the first to directly link sleeping brain waves with a mechanism thought to clear the brain of metabolic waste and toxins, called the “glymphatic system.” Prior studies in rodents indicate that the glymphatic system actively clears Alzheimer’s disease pathology, as well as other toxins and waste products, from the brain….

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Another hopeful outcome for Alzheimer’s treatment

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by David Sultzer, MD, Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior This past weekend, China’s regulatory agency conditionally approved sodium oligomannate for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.  The approval was based on results from a 9-month treatment study of 818 people, and is the first approval globally of an Alzheimer’s drug in 16 years. Oligomannate (GV-971) is a plant-based complex sugar derived from ocean seaweed. It’s thought to adjust the microbiome in the GI tract, thereby tweaking amino acid levels in the body and reducing the toxic effects of brain inflammation that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.  Results from…

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VIDEO: “Will I get Alzheimer’s if I live long enough?” with Dr. Maria Corrada

By Commentary, Community Events

Facebook Live Series - ASK THE DOC: Alzheimer's Research Today! This monthly series features short talks and Q&A with experts from the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), 1 of 32 congressionally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation. Join UCI MIND on Facebook (@UCIrvineMIND) the first Friday of every month from 9:00-9:30 AM PST to learn about advances in research to improve Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Episode 10: "Will I get Alzheimer's if I live long enough?" This month, we're joined by Maria Corrada, ScM, ScD, Professor of Neurology...

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Will I get Alzheimer’s if I live long enough?

By Community Events

Tune in this Friday, November 1 @ 9AM for the next episode of our monthly Facebook LIVE series, “Will I get Alzheimer’s if I live long enough?” This month, we’re joined by Maria Corrada, ScM, ScD, Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology in the UCI School of Medicine. Dr. Corrada received a masters in Biostatistics and a doctorate in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves as co-principal investigator of The 90+ Study, a longitudinal study of aging and dementia in over 1,800 people aged 90 years and older, and Life After 90, a multiethnic cohort of people 90 and older in Northern California. Dr. Corrada’s research focuses…

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Biogen’s About Face

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD Yesterday morning, Biogen announced the company’s intention to file with the FDA for approval of Aducanumab, a monoclonal antibody that until recently had been in development as a potential disease-modifying therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. The news came as a shock to us, since two large Phase 3 clinical trials of Aducanumab had been halted for futility earlier in 2019. “Futility” is defined as an early indication that a trial is not likely to demonstrate a drug benefit. As a site for one of those trials, we – along with the research participants and the entire...

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VIDEO: “When should I see a doctor about memory concerns?” with Dr. Malcolm Dick

By Commentary, Community Events

Facebook Live Series - ASK THE DOC: Alzheimer's Research Today! This monthly series features short talks and Q&A with experts from the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), 1 of 32 congressionally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation. Join UCI MIND on Facebook (@UCIrvineMIND) the first Friday of every month from 9:00-9:30 AM PST to learn about advances in research to improve Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Episode 9: "When should I see a doctor about memory concerns?" This month, we're joined by UCI MIND Senior Neuropsychologist, Malcolm Dick, PhD....

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When should I see a doctor about memory concerns?

By Community Events

Tune in this Friday, October 4 @ 9AM for the next episode of our monthly Facebook LIVE series, “When should I see a doctor about memory concerns?” This month, we’re joined by Malcolm Dick, PhD. Dr. Dick has served as an Alzheimer’s disease researcher and clinician at UCI since earning his doctorate from University of South Carolina in 1984. He is a highly respected neuropsychologist among his colleagues and the patients and families he serves. Throughout his tenure, Dr. Dick has participated on 24 clinical trials, mentored 54 trainees, presented hundreds of lectures, and published numerous articles and book chapters. Dr. Dick has dedicated his life’s work…

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For many of us, solving Alzheimer’s disease is personal

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD Dorene Rentz and her husband, Ray Berggren, at their home in Natick, Mass. Dr. Rentz helped design the cognitive tests used in the A4 Alzheimer’s clinical trial in which her husband is now participating. Photo credit: M. Scott Brauer for the Wall Street Journal Alzheimer’s disease is a public health crisis. UCI MIND investigators regularly speak in public to increase awareness of the magnitude of the problem and the urgency of our work (see Event Calendar). But many of us leave the clinic, laboratory, or office to face this crisis at home as well. In this excellent...

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Learn about the 30th annual conference panel

By Commentary, Community Events

Learn about the 30th annual conference panel in today’s #SpeakerSpotlight: Moderated by UCI MIND Director Joshua Grill, a diverse panel of stakeholders will provide their unique perspective on challenges and successes in Alzheimer’s disease research and what they anticipate for the future of the field. Panelists include a research participant, a family caregiver, and clinicians and scientists from University of California, Irvine: Dr. Lisa Gibbs is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at UCI School of Medicine. She also serves as Medical Director of the UC Irvine HealthSeniorHealth Center in Orange…

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50 million people worldwide have dementia…

By Commentary

. . . And there are nearly 10 million new cases each year. Today is World Alzheimer’s Day. It is a day to remember those we have lost, honor those still fighting, and acknowledge those dedicated to finding a cure. To all the patients, families, research participants, study partners, donors, community members, faculty, staff, and students working with UCI MIND to rid the world of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, thank you! UCI MIND collaborates with researchers worldwide to solve this health crisis, and you, too, can be a part of the solution right here in Orange County. Join us...

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Yes! A positive Phase 3 treatment study for symptoms of dementia

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by David Sultzer, MD, Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior Last week, Acadia Pharmaceuticals announced findings from its trial of pimavanserin for treatment of delusions and hallucinations related to dementia: Participants treated with pimavanserin had better outcomes than those treated with placebo. The study design was different from usual treatment comparisons of drug and placebo.  In this trial, all participants with psychosis symptoms along with Alzheimer’s disease or another cognitive disorder were treated with pimavanserin for 12 weeks.  Those who showed improvement were then assigned to either continue taking the drug or cross over to placebo treatment.  The study…

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Join us for a complimentary dinner and educational speaker at Villagio!

By Community Events

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & DEMENTIA Wednesday, September 25th at 6:00PM Villagio at Capriana (454 S La Floresta Drive, Brea, CA 92823) Join us for a complimentary dinner and educational speaker at Villagio! William Edwards from UCI MIND will provide education on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, risk and protective factors, and advances in research. Kindly RSVP to 714.985.5500 by September 23rd, as space is limited. About the Speaker: William Edwards was an Alzheimer’s caregiver for his wife, Nancy, for 12 years and now serves on the Leadership Council and Speakers Bureau for UCI MIND to help raise awareness and support for critical…

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What lifestyle factors increase and decrease risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

By Commentary, Community Events

What lifestyle factors increase and decrease risk for Alzheimer’s disease? October 25th Research Conference #SpeakerSpotlight: Dr. Rebecca Gottesman is a board-certified Neurologist and Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on the short-term and long-term cognitive effects of heart disease and stroke. She uses a combination of clinical studies in patients and epidemiological studies to evaluate the impact of heart disease on the brain. In the session, “Risk and Prevention Across the Lifespan,” Dr. Gottesman will discuss the link between heart health and brain health and identify lifestyle factors that increase and decrease risk for…

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Another setback, yet another reason to redouble our efforts

By In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND Late Thursday evening, Esai publicly announced a decision to halt a Phase 3 clinical trial of a candidate treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, elenebecestat. The decision was made based on a recommendation by the study’s Data Safety Monitoring Board, which determined that the safety risks of the drug no longer justified continuing the study. Elenebecestat is a BACE (beta-site of the amyloid precursor protein cleavage enzyme) inhibitor that joins several other BACE inhibitors previously determined to lack adequate safety for patient use. The field will grapple with this news and learn how…

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How can “smart” technology be used to detect cognitive problems?

By Commentary, Community Events

How can “smart” technology be used to detect cognitive problems? October 25th Research Conference #SpeakerSpotlight: Dr. Rhoda Au is a Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Neurology and Epidemiology at Boston University and has served as an investigator on the Framingham Heart Study since 1990, conducting research related to cognitive aging and dementia. Dr. Au’s research focuses on a how “bigdata” analytics can better inform our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. In the session, “Detection in the Digital Era,” Dr. Au will discuss how innovative technology can be used to track cognitive performance in older adults. Attendees will learn how digital technologies…

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Join us October 7th for ASK THE DOC!

By Commentary, Community Events

Join us October 7th for ASK THE DOC! Time: Monday, October 7 @ 6:00-8:00 PM Location: Fullerton Public Library (353 W Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832) RSVP: bit.ly/UCIaskthedoc (link is case-sensitive) or 800.272.3900 UCI MIND's quarterly ASK THE DOC Q&A panel provides a unique opportunity for the community to have their most pressing questions answered by Orange County's experts in brain health, Alzheimer's disease, and dementia. RSVP

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VIDEO: “What have researchers learned from brain donations?” with Dr. Ed Monuki

By Commentary, Community Events

Facebook Live Series - ASK THE DOC: Alzheimer's Research Today! This monthly series features short talks and Q&A with experts from the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), 1 of 32 congressionally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation. Join UCI MIND on Facebook (@UCIrvineMIND) the first Friday of every month from 9:00-9:30 AM PST to learn about advances in research to improve Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Episode 8: "What have researchers learned from brain donations?" This month, we're joined by Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD. Dr. Monuki is a neuropathologist,...

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How are brain scans improving our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease?

By Commentary, Community Events

How are brain scans improving our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease? October 25th Research Conference #SpeakerSpotlight: Dr. William Jagust is a Professor of Public Health and Neuroscience at UC Berkeley and heads the national Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative’s (ADNI) Core Laboratory for PET imaging. His laboratory was the first to describe Alzheimer’s-related hippocampal atrophy quantified with MRI and has continued to pioneer approaches using brain imaging to improve understanding of aging and dementia. In the session “Brain Scans and Biomarkers,” Dr. Jagust will describe how brain imaging has helped advance the field and discuss the strengths and challenges of brain scan…

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What have researchers learned from brain donations?

By Community Events

Tune in this Friday, September 6 @ 9AM for the next episode of our monthly Facebook LIVE series, “What have researchers learned from brain donations?” This month, we’re joined by Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD. Dr. Monuki is a neuropathologist, meaning he specializes in the diagnosis of brain diseases by examining post-mortem tissue. His research aims to improve understanding of an understudied brain tissue known as the choroid plexus in an effort to develop potential new therapies for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Dr. Monuki earned his medical and doctoral degrees from UC San Diego and currently serves as Professor and…

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How are donated human brains used to study Alzheimer’s disease?

By Commentary, Community Events

How are donated human brains used to study Alzheimer’s disease? October 25th Research Conference #SpeakerSpotlight: Dr. Julie Schneider is a board-certified Geriatric Neurologist and Neuropathologist, Professor of Pathology and Neurological Sciences at Rush University, and Associate Director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Schneider’s research focuses on linking pathology with risk factors and brain imaging to improve understanding of cognitive aging and dementia. Brain donation has been an invaluable resource for researchers to better understand the causes of and treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In the session, “Gifted Brains Yield Priceless Gains,” Dr. Schneider will discuss…

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Summer 2019 MIND Matters Newsletter

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

In this issue of MIND Matters: UCI MIND Scientists Discover Exercise Can Reprogram Genes Welcome, New Faculty & Staff New FDA Black Box Warning for Insomnia Medications Announcing the 10th Annual UCI MIND Gala Honorees… And more! Download Newsletter >   Upcoming Events:   Facebook LIVE Q&A Series: “What have researchers learned from brain donations?” Friday, September 6  |  9:00-9:30 am |  UCI MIND Facebook Page Follow @UCIrvineMIND to receive notifications when we go LIVE Live online Q&A with Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD, Professor and Warren L. Bostick Chair of Pathology in the UCI School of Medicine.  Attend the video live on our Facebook page or view archived…

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How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?

By Community Events

How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed? October 25th Research Conference #SpeakerSpotlight: Dr. David Sultzer is a board-certified Geriatric Psychiatrist and Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at UCI School of Medicine. After more than 20 years at UCLA and the West Los Angeles VA Hospital, Dr. Sultzer recently joined the team at UCI MIND and leads its clinical research operations, including clinical trials for new treatments. He is internationally recognized for his research activities to better understand the phenomenology, pathophysiology, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In the session “Advances in Clinical Diagnosis,” Dr. Sultzer will explain how doctors arrive at a…

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How and why are mice used to study Alzheimer’s disease?

By Community Events

How and why are mice used to study Alzheimer’s disease? October 25th Research Conference #SpeakerSpotlight: Dr. Frank LaFerla is a Chancellor’s Professor and the Dean of the UCI School of Biological Sciences. He served as Director of UCI MIND from 2009-2018 and continues to lead its NIH-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dean LaFerla invented the first mouse model to develop amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, leading to significant advances in our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. In his presentation, Dean LaFerla will address how mouse models are used to study the disease, challenges with current models, and efforts toward new and…

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