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Dr. Joshua Grill discusses Alzheimer’s clinical trials during the pandemic with NPR

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

(3-minute listen) After cases began emerging worldwide, thousands of clinical trials unrelated to COVID-19 were paused or canceled amid fears that participants would be infected. But now, some researchers are finding ways to carry on in spite of the coronavirus. “It’s been a struggle of course,” says Joshua Grill, who directs the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine. “But I think there’s an imperative for us to find ways to move forward.”

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The COVID-19 guide to holiday travel – and the case for why you shouldn’t go this year

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

“We’ll likely continue to see a surge of cases in the fall and over the holidays,” says Karen Edwards, a professor and epidemiologist at the University of California, Irvine. “If you must travel, be sure to follow all recommendations, including checking with destinations and events you plan to attend to be sure that travel to that destination or event is still possible. Cancel your trip if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or concerns about risk of infection.”

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Drs. Xu and Cotman receive $3M from NIH to map aging-associated brain changes

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Irvine, Calif. – October 15, 2020 – The National Institutes of Health has awarded a team of researchers, led by the University of California, Irvine’s Xiangmin Xu, PhD, a five-year, $3 million grant for a project titled, “Single-Cell Analysis of Aging-Associated 4D Nucleome in the Human Hippocampus.” Now, as part of the 4D Nucleome consortium, Xu, a professor of anatomy and neurobiology and director of the Center for Neural Circuit Mapping at the UCI School of Medicine, together with MPIs, Carl Wayne Cotman, PhD, a professor of neurology and founding director of the UCI Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia,…

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UC Irvine partners with O.C. businesses to develop safe reopening protocols

By Carousel Slider, Community Events, In the News

UC Irvine is providing consulting services to private businesses to develop rules and procedures to keep employees and customers safe from COVID-19 as the economy starts to open up. “As the only program in public health in Orange County, we have an obligation to assist our community,” UCI professor Karen Edwards said in a press release. “I think there’s a gap in this area for us to step up and offer these types of services. This has the potential to have a major positive impact.” Orange County was on track to move into the state’s less restrictive orange tier until…

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How to Cover a Sick Old Man

By Carousel Slider, In the News

The president is hospitalized and reporters are fighting for basic facts. What should elderly leaders — many of America’s top politicians are over 80 — reveal about their health? “It will help if reporters are medically knowledgeable, and ask the right questions, e.g. blood pressure, heart rhythm, sleep disorders,” Dr. Mark Fisher, a professor of neurology and political science at the University of California, Irvine, told me on Sunday. “The more specific and precise questions reporters ask, the better. A robust fund of knowledge by the reporter is a great advantage.”

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8 Top Tips for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

More than 5 million people of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s in America and that number is expected to rise to nearly 14 million by the 2050. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in this country — killing more Americans than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. However, research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) shows clear data that improving lifestyle factors can influence the development and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Here are eight ways to reduce your risk of this devastating disease: Add more fruits and vegetables…

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Inaugural IMPACT-AD program launches this week

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, Community Events, In the News

Co-directed by Dr. Joshua Grill, director of UCI MIND, and Dr. Rema Raman, director of biostatistics at USC Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute, the inaugural class of IMPACT-AD launches this week. The novel program will educate 35 professionals and researchers at various career stages on conducting rigorous, cutting-edge Alzheimer’s clinical trials.

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Supporting Research to End Alzheimer’s

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

In 1964, Keith Swayne, then a graduate student at UC Berkeley, went on a blind date with local school teacher Judy Kjellberg. He was head over heels, and just two weeks later, he proposed to her. Over the next 50 years, they raised a son and daughter, pursued their careers and engaged with the Orange County community through nonprofit work. Judy created the Orange County Community Foundation in 1989, laying the groundwork for it to grow into a change-maker with assets today in excess of $400 million, supporting various causes across the region. But during the final decade of their…

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This brain protein may put the brakes on Alzheimer’s

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Considerable: “Scientists have known for a long time that inflammation is a driver of Alzheimer’s disease, but inflammation is complex and involves many factors,” said UCI MIND faculty member Dr. Frank LaFerla, dean of UCI School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, where the research was conducted. “That’s why we decided to look at TOM-1.” … “You can think of TOM-1 as being like the brakes of a car, and the brakes aren’t working for people with Alzheimer’s,” LaFerla said. “This research shows that fixing the brakes at the molecular level could provide an entirely new therapeutic…

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Study: People don’t freak out over Alzheimer’s biomarker data

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

MedPage Today: Is it safe to share Alzheimer’s disease biomarker results with older adults who don’t have cognitive impairment? In the short-term at least, the answer appears to be “yes,” according to a study of Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s Disease (A4) clinical trial candidates. Older Adults who learned they had elevated amyloid levels didn’t experience more short-term depression, anxiety, or suicidality than those who learned they didn’t have elevated amyloid, reported Joshua Grill, PhD, of University of California, Irvine, and colleagues in JAMA Neurology. … This may be the largest study to date about delivering Alzheimer’s biomarker information to cognitively unimpaired…

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UCI MIND awarded $14.4 million NIH grant to continue critical Alzheimer’s disease research, education

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND, the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at UCI, has been awarded a $14.4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health, to sustain critical research and education as Orange County’s only Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The NIA funds only 32 of these centers at major academic institutions across the U.S. They conduct groundbreaking research to improve the understanding, diagnosis, care and treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. “The value of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is immeasurable to both the campus and the community,” said Pramod…

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Will your brain stay sharp into your 90s? Certain factors are key

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

HealthDay – July 22, 2020 Maria Corrada, a professor of epidemiology at the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine (UCI MIND), said, “Some of the characteristics found to be related to resistance and resilience to Alzheimer’s pathology can be changed or modified — pulse pressure, smoking, paid work and life satisfaction.” … “We believe that there are things we can do with our lifestyle that can help us maintain good cognitive health,” she said.

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New discovery reveals brain network mechanism that causes spatial memory impairment in Alzheimer’s disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Contributed by UCI MIND faculty member Kei Igarashi, PhD. In a paper recently published in Neuron, our lab found for the first time that “remapping” of hippocampus place cells, a brain circuit function to distinguish distinct environments, is disrupted in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Our work suggests that remapping impairment is a circuit mechanism causing spatial memory impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. We hope that, by developing methods to reactivate remapping, we can develop new treatments for spacial memory impairment in Alzheimer’s disease patients in a near future.

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UCI MIND awarded $14.4 million Alzheimer’s research grant

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

National Institutes of Health grant helps local researchers continue work on cause and treatment of dementia. The National Institutes of Health has awarded $14.4 million to the UCI MIND institute at UC Irvine to continue its crucial work in the study of Alzheimer’s disease, for which there remains no cure or prevention. UCI MIND, formally known as the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, is one of only 32 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers around the country funded by the National Institute on Aging, an arm of the NIH. UC Irvine is one of the original half-dozen research centers established…

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Alzheimer’s biomarkers in Down syndrome parallel late-onset disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

  In an accompanying editorial, [UCI MIND Professor] Elizabeth Head, PhD, of University of California Irvine, and Beau Ances, MD, PhD, of Washington University St Louis, wrote, “Fortea and colleagues noted similarities between biomarkers reflecting Alzheimer disease pathogenesis in individuals with Down syndrome and individuals with late onset and autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease. These results provide strong evidence that studies of people with Down syndrome can inform research on late-onset and autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease.” Read more here >

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Want to Live to 100? These Centenarians Are Sharing Their Secrets to Long Life

By Carousel Slider, In the News

Social engagement while drinking may be why long-lifers tend to have one to two drinks per day, says University of California, Irvine’s Claudia Kawas, M.D., whose 90+ Study found this sweet spot. … We asked our four longevity experts how studying the oldest of the old had changed their lives. Here are eight changes they’ve made—that you can make too. … Claudia Kawas, M.D., of UC Irvine. Cut back a little on coffee. “I’m a big coffee drinker, and our study showed that 200 to 400 mg of caffeine [two to four cups] a day is the sweet spot.” Tries to take the…

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Could I have immunity to the COVID-19 virus?

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

As COVID-19 cases spread across the state and nation, demand is growing for blood tests to identify people who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus and developed antibodies to it. Such antibodies may mean these individuals have at least some immunity to the virus, formally named SARS-CoV2, and therefore may be able to return to work and school — and help jump-start the flagging U.S. economy. Results may also help identify COVID-19 antibody-positive people whose blood donations could be used to make convalescent plasma, an investigational treatment for seriously ill COVID-19 patients, according to the U.S. Food & Drug…

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What’s next: The future of summer vacation

By Carousel Slider, COVID-19, In the News

UCI epidemiologist offers advice on healthy travel, recreation during the pandemic Despite the all-encompassing disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, time marches on, with summer just around the corner. For many, June signals the beginning of vacation season. But as COVID-19 continues to spread, where does summer travel stand? States are reopening and inviting tourists – and their dollars – to return. But is it safe to take a trip? What do we need to know about hotel or Airbnb lodgings? About eating in restaurants? About large public gatherings? Karen Edwards, professor and chair of epidemiology at UCI and an enthusiastic…

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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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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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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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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-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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Dr. Mark Mapstone comments for The New York Times

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Stalked by the Fear That Dementia Is Stalking You The New York Times (Kaiser Health News) – Feb. 20, 2020 I spoke to half a dozen experts, and none was in favor of genetic testing, except in unusual circumstances. “Having the APOE4 allele does not mean you’ll get Alzheimer’s disease. Plenty of people with Alzheimer’s don’t have the allele,” said Mark Mapstone, a professor of neurology at the University of California, Irvine. “And conversely, plenty of people with the allele never develop Alzheimer’s.” [Subscription required: LINK to article]

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Revived UCI Sleep Center Focuses on Mental Issues

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Orange County Business Journal – Feb. 17, 2020 Dr. Ruth Benca, who is chair of the Psychiatry and Human Behavior School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine in 2018 restarted the UCI sleep center. She’s designed a new, 6,000-square foot facility in Newport Beach … and has recruited doctors from a variety of fields, such as Dr. Kevin Im, who won a 2014 national award for a sleep study, Dr. Rami Khayat, the center’s medical director and expert on the effects of sleep apnea on cardiovascular diseases, and Dr. Behrouz Jafari, an expert in pulmonology. “We’ve built this…

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