Yearly Archives

2020

Join us for UCI Giving Day this Wednesday, June 3!

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19, In the News

COVID-19 has introduced tremendous uncertainty into our lives. It has made life challenging for many, none more than families facing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Yet, one certainty remains – brain diseases will devastate our increasingly older population…unless researchers find solutions. UCI MIND remains focused on these efforts. To support the scientists, students, and programs across our great university, UCI has decided to move forward with the scheduled UCI Giving Day coming up on Wednesday, June 3rd. While we recognize that the current crisis may prevent some from getting involved, all who are able are invited to join us on Giving Day. This…

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VIDEO: UCI Podcast Video Series: The race for COVID testing

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

In March, the UCI Medical Center became the first hospital in Orange County to provide COVID-19 testing. In this episode of the UCI Podcast Video Series, UCI MIND faculty member Dr. Ed Monuki, chair of pathology who leads UCI Health’s testing efforts, discusses how the campus came together to address this community need and how future testing for the coronavirus and its antibodies will play an important role with the resumption of our regular daily activities, like going back to work or the classroom.

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Spring 2020

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19, In the News

Message from the Director   Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Since writing my last message for our Winter 2020 issue, we have all had our worlds turned upside down by COVID-19. At UCI MIND, we have faced challenges and have had to temporarily adapt our research programs. But, I know these challenges pale in comparison to those faced by members of our community. I’m especially concerned about the additional challenges faced by caregivers of people living with dementia, as well as the social isolation physical distancing can bring to older people who are living alone. We are eager to help…

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VIDEO: Lecture on COVID-19 and Contact Tracing with Faculty Member, Karen Edwards

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

Dr. Karen Edwards is Professor and Chair of the UCI Department of Epidemiology. Her primary research focus is in genetic epidemiology and the use of multivariate approaches to define phenotypes for complex diseases. Dr. Edwards’ genetic epidemiology research covers a broad range of conditions, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, melanoma and Parkinson’s Disease. She also studies interactions between environmental factors (particularly diet) and genetic susceptibility (Gene x environment interactions) and several interdisciplinary projects that focus on the ethical, legal or social implications of genomics and applications to clinical and public health practice. Dr. Edwards received a MS in Nutrition…

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Advocate for respite care during COVID-19

By Commentary, COVID-19

Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers. Find out more about how to get support from the National Institute on Aging: https://bit.ly/35YKagz Older adults and caregivers are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19, and advocacy for respite care is needed now more than ever. California’s revised budget cuts critical funding for programs and services for older adults. It eliminates funding for Community-Based Adult Services, the Multi-purpose Senior Services Program, and reduces funding for In-Home Support Services. The changes proposed will have a tremendous impact on local organizations as well as the community members who depend on them. To…

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The Next Generation of Alzheimer’s Research(ers)

By Commentary

Jamie Kamel (left) is an 8th Grader at Corona del Mar Middle School who is interested in genetics research and CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) technology. As part of service credit for Boy Scouts, he interviewed Amanda McQuade, REMIND Co-Chair and Doctoral Candidate, to learn about progress in Alzheimer’s research from the perspective of an up-and-coming scientist: Kamel: How did you become interested in Alzheimer’s disease? How did you get where you are today? McQuade: When I was young, I didn’t know I wanted to study Alzheimer’s disease. I first became interested in genetics and biology when I went to a…

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The Alzheimer’s-Air Pollution Link

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND faculty member Masashi Kitazawa, PhD comments for Scientific American: “In a field where scientists have spent decades focused on genetics and the buildup of damaged protein fragments called beta-amyloid as causes of the disease…now many experts agree that air pollution plays a major role. This assessment is echoed by Masashi Kitazawa, a toxicologist at the University of California, Irvine, and an expert on environmental toxins. “Genetics is huge in Alzheimer’s research, and for years almost no one wanted to look beyond genes,” he says. “But in the past three or four years the number of papers linking air pollution and cognitive decline…

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Disease Detectives: COVID-19 and Contact Tracing Webinar

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

Hear UCI MIND faculty member and Chair of the UCI Department of Epidemiology, Dr. Karen Edwards, lecture on “Disease Detectives: COVID-19 and Contact Tracing” this Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 12:30 PM. Register here > About Dr. Edwards: Dr. Karen Edwards is Professor and Chair of the UCI Department of Epidemiology. Her primary research focus is in genetic epidemiology and the use of multivariate approaches to define phenotypes for complex diseases. Dr. Edwards’ genetic epidemiology research covers a broad range of conditions, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, melanoma and Parkinson’s Disease. She also studies interactions between environmental factors (particularly…

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CDC and Alzheimer’s Association Livecast Series on COVID-19 and Dementia

By Commentary, COVID-19, Event Slider

Unique Considerations for Public Health Communities in Various Settings  COVID-19 and dementia present unique considerations for public health professionals in a variety of different settings. The livecast series focuses on three settings: Homes and Community-Based Settings, Emergency Departments and Hospitals, and Long-term Care Facilities.   Please Register for each Livecast Separately   Dementia Vulnerabilities in Homes and Around the Community Monday, May 18 from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET  REGISTER   Dementia Challenges in Emergency Departments and Hospitals Monday, May 18 from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET  REGISTER   Dementia Vulnerabilities in Long-Term Care Settings Tuesday, May 19 from 3:00…

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UCI to take part in clinical trial of drug for critically ill COVID-19 patients

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

  UCI Health will initiate a clinical study of a drug to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients who face a high mortality rate because of acute inflammation that fills their lungs with fluid, a grave condition that even mechanical ventilation cannot improve. Aviptadil, which has a 20-year history of use in human clinical trials for lung ailments, will be employed in a phase 2b/3 clinical study of COVID-19 patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome, a primary cause of coronavirus-induced death. Read more here >

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Research team awarded $3.8 million to study molecular changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Irvine, CA – May 12, 2020 – A team of researchers from the University of California, Irvine and San Diego have been awarded $3.8 million by the National Institute on Aging to conduct an epigenomic analysis of neural circuits in the brain. By revealing molecular changes that occur during the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the team hopes to identify new therapeutic targets and molecular biomarkers for early detection and better treatment. The interdisciplinary research team is led by multiple principal investigators, including Xiangmin Xu, PhD, a professor of anatomy and neurobiology and director of the Center for Neural Circuit…

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Racing to deliver COVID-19 testing

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

  Read how through the efforts of the UC Irvine Health team, under the leadership of UCI MIND Faculty Member, Dr. Edwin Monuki, the medical center became the first hospital in Orange County to provide in-house COVID-19 testing on March 19 – more than two weeks ahead of schedule. http://www.ucihealth.org/…/racing-to-deliver-covid19-testing Dr. Monuki recently commented on antibody testing for the UCI MIND Blog and will participate in a virtual panel discussion tonight, May 14 at 7 PM PST. Click HERE to register.

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New partnership will give nursing home staff extra training to prevent coronavirus spread

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

CalOptima, which provides health insurance to Orange County’s low-income residents, announced on Friday, May 8, it is working with UC Irvine and the county Health Care Agency to provide intensive training on infection control to staff at 12 nursing homes. … Dr. Susan Huang, who teaches about infectious diseases at UC Irvine, is working with researchers and clinicians to develop the tools and training, and will measure their effectiveness with diagnostic and antibody testing.

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APOE4 carriers show early breakdown to blood-brain barrier, before cognitive impairment

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Daniel Nation, PhD, UCI MIND Faculty Member, Associate Professor of Psychological Science at UCI   APOE4 is the strongest known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Although the predominant view has been that APOE4 conveys risk for Alzheimer’s dementia primarily through its effects on amyloid levels, prior work has also shown that APOE4 has adverse effects on the blood vessels of the brain.   In a recent study published in Nature, colleagues at University of Southern California and I demonstrated that APOE4…

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Virtual COVID-19 Panel: UCI Experts Discuss the Pandemic

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

The Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center have partnered to host a virtual panel of experts discussing COVID-19. The event takes place Thursday, May 14, from 7 to 8 p.m.  Four experts, including UCI MIND faculty member Dr. Ed Monuki, will address the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Monuki recently blogged about the state of antibody testing. Hear more on this topic at the virtual panel. Register here. It will be streamed on Facebook at facebook.com/UCIStemCell and on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Pau-eWPE0RY. For further information, contact Judy Baek at Judy.baek@uci.edu

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Caring for a loved one with dementia during COVID-19

By Commentary, COVID-19

California’s stay-at-home order has been especially tough for one caregiver population: Family members caring for someone who has dementia. Because of the novel coronavirus, adult daycare centers are closed temporarily and home services have been put on hold, cutting off critical support systems for this group. Here are a few tips from UCI Health for anyone now caring for a family member with dementia, provided by Jung-Ah Lee, PhD, an associate professor at the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing: Read the full article here >

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UCI Launches ASSIST Program for Isolated Seniors

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

UCI has launched the ASSIST Program – Assisting & Serving Socially Isolated Seniors via Telephone.  UCI medical and nursing students who have been mobilized received the program training, and are ready to be paired with older adult participants who would like to receive regular check-ins via telephone just to chat and/or to receive referrals to community resources during this difficult time while they are self-isolating. The flyer is linked here and provided below. If interested, please call: (714) 497-0315.  

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Stuck at home? Help UCI Researchers Cure Diseases

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

During this time of uncertainty, communities, businesses and families are being impacted like never before. People are also coming together to help others in unprecedented ways. And while we all are spending more and more time at home, many of us are looking for ways to strengthen our communities while maintaining the current health and safety recommendations from the CDC. I’d like to invite you and your families to make a real difference without leaving your home or opening your wallet. I’m an OC Mom and researcher at UCI MIND. We are seeking volunteers to sign up for our “Consent-to-Contact”…

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Minorities are disproportionately dying from COVID-19

By Commentary, COVID-19

Contributed by Christian Salazar, PhD, UCI MIND Project Scientist The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on families all across our country, with 70,000 reported deaths to date. Early in the pandemic the data had suggested that African Americans were being admitted to the hospital and dying in disproportionate numbers. In fact, an analysis by the Washington Post revealed that coronavirus death rates were about six times higher in black majority counties than in white majority counties. More recent data also showed that Latinos and Indigenous groups like the Navajo people were dying in excess numbers. What could explain…

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Lunchtime Laughter for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

We could all use a laugh in these uncertain times. If you’re a person with Alzheimer’s disease, a family member, or caregiver, you can join LaughterOnCall for their virtual Lunchtime Laughter meetings, Monday-Friday at 12 PM PST. This webinar offers a light-hearted, engaging way to laugh and cope with feelings of isolation that can come from social distancing.    To register, visit https://zoom.us/meeting/register/uZEtdemurzIq_pN_HCQ7TY2I8cpa4NsoGQ OR e-mail info@laughteroncall.com to sign up. LaughterOnCall may record these meetings for quality purposes.

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Focus on Aging: Federal Partners’ Webinar Series

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

We’re pleased to announce the “Focus on Aging” webinar series with the Administration for Community Living, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Institute on Aging. The first webinar, “Supporting Older Adults in Emergencies: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery” will be held May 13 at 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET. Register today! https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/focus-aging-federal-partners-webinar-series   A message from: Nina Silverberg, PhD Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Centers Program Division of Neuroscience National Institute on Aging National Institutes of Health

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Coronavirus Antibody Tests: Can You Trust the Results?

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

Contributed by Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD, Warren L. Bostick Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UC Irvine A recent article in the The New York Times focuses on an issue of grave concern among US health care providers – the flood of unapproved “lateral flow” tests for detecting COVID-19 antibodies. This flood resulted from an FDA decision to allow antibody testing without their usual approval process in order to accelerate the national response to COVID-19. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), this also resulted in an antibody testing market that one interviewee in the NYT article called the “Wild West”….

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FDA Gives Emergency Authorization For Some COVID-19 Patients To Use Remdesivir

By COVID-19, In the News

NPR reports May 1, 2020 4:22 PM ET – The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with the coronavirus, President Trump on Friday told reporters at the White House. Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said remdesivir maker Gilead Sciences is donating 1.5 million vials of the drug and will work with the federal government to distribute it to patients in need…

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CDC Adds Six New COVID-19 Symptoms

By Commentary, COVID-19

Over the weekend, the CDC added six new coronavirus symptoms to its list. The new symptoms include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a loss of taste or smell.   Watch for symptoms People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19: Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Or at least two of these symptoms: Fever Chills Repeated shaking with chills Muscle pain…

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Alzheimer’s disease, clinical trials, & COVID-19: Q&A with Dr. Daniel Gillen

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

Alzheimer’s disease, clinical trials, and COVID-19 Join UCI MIND for a live Q&A on Facebook with Dr. Daniel Gillen, Professor and Chair of Statistics at UC Irvine, this Friday, May 1st at 11:00-11:30 AM PST. About the Speaker: Daniel Gillen received his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Washington and leads the Data Management and Statistics Core for UCI MIND’s NIH-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and widely recognized for his work in the design and analysis of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and other health conditions. Dr. Gillen serves…

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VIDEO: Laboratory Research Update – Nicole Schartz, PhD

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

Nicole Schartz, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Andrea Tenner’s lab, shares her experience of what’s happening in her lab and her perspective on the pandemic.  Dr. Schartz is also a member of REMIND. Research and Education in Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, or REMIND, is a campus organization led by UCI MIND predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. It aims to encourage collaboration among the next generation of scientists and clinicians, and promote community outreach and education on neurodegenerative diseases.

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Don’t Feel Bad If Your Kids Are Gaming More Than Ever. In Fact, Why Not Join Them?

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

While doing a video interview with TIME, Craig Stark, professor at the University of California, Irvine’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, said that his eighth grade son was on a headset chatting with his friends while gaming. “I’m great with that,” says Stark. Still, he adds, “if you’re gaming 20 hours a day, let’s get out, let’s do some other stuff, let’s not just talk to each other on a screen. But in terms of the notion that video games are actively rotting the brain? No, I don’t see any evidence for that.”

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UCI and UCI Health launch comprehensive COVID-19 resource site

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

The UCI Health Affairs Vice Chancellor is delighted to announce the launch of OC-COVID19.org, a new website devoted to providing timely, useful, evidence-based information about the novel coronavirus pandemic to our friends and neighbors across Orange County. UCI and UCI Health are at the forefront of Orange County’s response to this national emergency. Every day there are stunning examples of remarkable, cutting-edge clinical care provided by the UCI Health family. Our services are driven by innovation and research taking place across the university. In this way, the UCI community is leading the way to solutions that are local and global….

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Adapting to changes in my day-to-day life

By Commentary, COVID-19

Contributed by Bill Edwards, UCI MIND Leadership Council and Speakers Bureau Member, former Alzheimer’s Caregiver, CEO and Global Advisor for Edwards Global Services, Inc. “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin As a father, grandfather, business owner, and volunteer for UCI MIND, my life has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Here in Southern California, my daughter and I are, of course, shut in. We seldom go out except once a week to shop or to exercise. Less than 50 miles on the car in a…

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Join the CA Dept. of Aging on April 22 for a Caring for Family & Friends Check-In Call

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19, In the News

A message from the CA Department of Aging: Join us April 22 for a Caring for Family & Friends Check-In Call: Caregiving from Afar Are You Caring for Family or Friends from Afar During COVID-19? Whether you are providing support to an older person across town, across the country, or in a Nursing Home or Residential Care Facility, COVID-19 guidelines have presented new challenges and concerns. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to connect with caregiving experts! Wednesday, April 22th, at 1pm the California Department of Aging (https://aging.ca.gov) and the Alzheimer’s Association (https://www.alz.org) will host their 2nd of a…

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VIDEO: How to Stay Brain Healthy

By Commentary, COVID-19

Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM), led by Maria Shriver, recently featured brain health tips from UCI MIND Director Dr. Joshua Grill on Facebook. Here’s what he had to say: “Adjust your expectations. Life is not normal right now. Be forgiving of others and of yourself. We may not be able to live up to our personal or professional goals of ourselves during this time. I’m a person who works very hard and wants to accomplish a lot, but I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that I’m not going to accomplish as much as I want to in the…

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Learn the latest in Alzheimer’s research from your home

By Commentary, Community Events

Did you know UCI MIND keeps a comprehensive archive of educational videos on our YouTube channel? View past Distinguished Lectures on the Brain, Q&A with experts on topics such as sleep, medications, and brain scans, past Research Conferences, and more.   Featured video: Dr. Reisa Sperling, Director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Research & Treatment at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, delivers the 2020 UCI MIND Distinguished Lecture on the Brain, “Can we detect and treat Alzheimer’s disease a decade before dementia? (And why we must!)”

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Lessons in “Transition”

By Commentary, COVID-19

Contributed by Steve O’Leary, former Caregiver, UCI MIND Leadership Council Member   Transition: passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another : change (Merriam-Webster)   How well do we accept the transitions we face in our life, especially as we grow older? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been through a whole bunch of transitions, especially in the past few years! Sold my company. Lost my wife. Fought off disease. Found the Lord. Death of my closest friend. Learning to love again. And the list goes on! Now I’m facing – we’re facing – a new major transition…

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Coronavirus: First responders, Taco Bell and Anaheim Ducks give back to UCI Medical Center

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

Police and fire agencies from across Orange County held a special drive-by parade at UCI Medical Center on Tuesday to show unity and support for the medical staff. Even though the salute was from a distance, they were able to touch hearts and lift spirits for those who are working long hours to get patients healthy. Meanwhile, Taco Bell’s taco truck made a stop at the hospital to provide workers free lunch. … Next week, UCI Medical Center will get another dose of love, when the Anaheim Ducks send 200 meals a day.

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Alzheimer’s caregivers, older adults: Volunteer for online clinical trials

By Commentary

Interested in volunteering for research on Alzheimer’s, related dementias, and cognitive health? Search for clinical trials and studies near you with NIA’s Clinical Trials Finder.  New and Featured Studies Click on the trial name for details, including contact information.    Caregiving Alzheimer’s Disease, Caregiving, and Social Networks (Bethesda, MD, and Memphis, TN) Care Partners Program for Alzheimer’s Disease (Miami, FL, and New York, NY) Cognitive Training for Older Caregivers (Rochester, NY) Mindfulness Training for African American Dementia Caregivers (Chapel Hill, NC) Mobile Web-based Behavioral Intervention for Improving Caregiver Well-being (La Jolla, CA) Tele-Savvy Education Program for Dementia Caregivers (Atlanta, GA)…

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UCI-led study finds modifiable risk factors could play a role in Alzheimer’s disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Amyloid accumulation not the only risk factor in Alzheimer’s risk Irvine, Calif. – April 8, 2020 – Amyloid is a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease, but the accumulation of these sticky proteins may not be the only risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published this week.  Other, modifiable risk factors, such as the amount of fats in our blood and how efficiently our bodies generate energy could also play important roles. 

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A personal note from UCI MIND neurologist, Dr. Ahmad Sajjadi

By Commentary, COVID-19

Contributed by Ahmad Sajjadi, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology The ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives are so profound that I fully expect us to, at least in our own heads, divide our life events to pre- and post-pandemic. I cannot think of a similar example in my life that affected every single aspect of my daily living. Of course, like others, I have developed strict rituals for disinfecting myself and everything I touch, and it takes me about 10 minutes to enter my house from a shopping trip! Negatives aside, it has also been…

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