Yearly Archives

2020

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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Special Virtual Event on World Alzheimer’s Day

By Commentary, Community Events, Event Slider

Join the BrightFocus Foundation on September 21, World Alzheimer’s Day, for a special virtual event, Alzheimer’s Turning Point: The Quest for a Cure Continues. The event will feature new clips from the acclaimed documentary Turning Point and insightful interviews with leading BrightFocus-funded scientists, including UCI MIND director, Dr. Joshua Grill. The program begins September 21, 2020 at 9:21:20 AM EST (6:21:20 AM PST) – Sign up here!

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Tackling Dementia with Technology

By Commentary, Community Events

Thank you for attending our first-ever virtual research conference in partnership with Alzheimer’s Orange County. If you missed the livestream on September 10, you can access the recordings, as well as videos from past conferences, on our website: mind.uci.edu/events/conference  A special thank you to this year’s sponsors:

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PODCAST: Helping Others Through Acceptance

By Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND Leadership Council Member, Steve O’Leary, discusses his journey with Alzheimer’s disease on Voices of Resilience hosted by Rick Milenthal. Steve changed his life, sold his business, and altered his priorities when his wife of 40 years was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. After losing Patty just over three years ago, he’s dedicated his life to finding a cure and helping others navigate the devastating impacts of the disease. Click here to listen to the PODCAST >  

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See you tomorrow! “Tackling Dementia with Technology” #tech4alz

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

The 31st Annual SoCal Alzheimer’s Research Conference goes LIVE tomorrow, September 10th at 8:00 AM PST. Join us to learn about the latest technology in Alzheimer’s research and care. Engage in live Q&A with world-renowned experts. Visit conference.mind.uci.edu for details and live viewing options. Thank you to our sponsors: Belmont Village Senior Living Aliso Viejo Biogen CalOptima CareAssist Services Caregiver Resource Center OC Caring Companions at Home Companion Hospice DevaWorld by mentia Granny’s Place, Inc. Housecall Doctors Medical Group Independence at Home LivHome Optimal Hospice Care Syrentis Clinical Research

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Staying Safe Over Labor Day Weekend: A Message from UCI Health

By In the News

To our valued patients, families and community, The health and well-being of Orange County residents remains all of our organizations’ top priority — and that has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why we formed a consortium earlier this year to work together to inform our community about best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the use of masks. We are joining together to express our gratitude for all you have done — and continue to do — to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We know this environment has not been…

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VIDEO: September is World Alzheimer’s Month

By In the News

This September, UCI Brain is leading a virtual campus campaign for World Alzheimer’s Month, featuring labs and individuals at UCI who are expanding our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Launched in 2012, World Alzheimer’s Month is the international campaign by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) to raise awareness and challenge the stigma surrounding dementia, which now affects 50 million people worldwide. To learn about the innovative work being done at UCI to combat Alzheimer’s disease, tune in to social media throughout the month: @ucibrain @ucirvinemind @ucimind. In this video, graduate student and REMIND co-leader Amanda McQuade shares about stem…

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VIDEO: Announcement of New Grant Recipients of UCI MIND-WAM Women’s Initiative

By In the News

UCI MIND announces the two new recipients of grant funding from the UCI MIND – Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) Women’s Initiative: Sara Mednick, PhD, Assoc. Professor of Cognitive Science at UCI and Liz Chrastil, PhD, Asst. Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior at UCI. The Initiative, a partnership launched in 2017 between UCI MIND and WAM founded by Maria Shriver, provides funding to UCI researchers to help answer why 2/3 people with Alzheimer’s disease are women.

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Join UCI MIND live on Facebook for a special announcement, Sept 1st

By In the News

Tomorrow, September 1 at 11 AM PST, UCI MIND will announce the latest award recipients of the UCI MIND – Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) Women’s Initiative live on Facebook. The two researchers will share about their motivation for studying Alzheimer’s disease and their projects to improve understanding of sex disparities. They will also address questions from live viewers. When: Tuesday, September 1 @ 11 AM PST Where: UCI MIND’s Facebook Page (@UCIrvineMIND) If you miss the live broadcast, it will be accessible on our Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Blog afterward.  

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SCRC Panel on COVID-19 – Sept. 1, 2020

By Commentary, Community Events

Don’t Forget to Register! On September 1, join scientists from the Stem Cell Research Center as they continue the discussion on COVID-19, the status of testing for COVID-19, current studies and trials as well as going back to school, wearing masks and public health.   Register by clicking here. Learn more about the event here. You can also watch the livestream on their Facebook page. Register Here

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Summer 2020

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

Message from the Director   Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Summer of 2020 has been unlike any summer before. We are all struggling to adjust to life amid a global pandemic that has been upending our lives for several months. Many of us have been unable to see our loved ones, others have lost our treasured family members. At the end of this newsletter, we offer some guidance from the Centers for Disease Control for caregivers of people living with dementia. Despite COVID-19, the work of UCI MIND continues. This includes important milestones. Most notably, the NIH selected UCI MIND…

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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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Delaying medical care can be harmful to older adults

By In the News

Across the country, older adults with acute and chronic conditions have hesitated to visit medical offices, given that people over age 65 are at greater risk for severe illness from exposure to the novel coronavirus outbreak. But people with these conditions — such as diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments that require regular monitoring — are also vulnerable to experiencing complications from their underlying disease if care is postponed, says Dr. Lisa Gibbs, medical director of the UC Irvine Health SeniorHealth Center. Read more >

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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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UCI scientists get ‘initial hit’ in developing drug to treat COVID-19

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, almost everyone at UCI – and colleges across the nation – had to abandon campus. But UCI MIND faculty member James Nowick, professor of chemistry, was not a part of that exodus. That’s because his lab, which designs and constructs chemical molecules, had the right equipment to help in the global push to find treatments for COVID-19.

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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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FDA: Beware hand sanitizers tainted with methanol

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

Hand sanitizer has become an integral part of the COVID-19 health toolbox, especially when soap and water is not available. However, some brands of hand sanitizers pose a new threat to our health. Increased demand during the pandemic has caused shortages of well-known U.S. brands, and now many new companies are selling hand sanitizer products that contain methanol, commonly known as wood alcohol. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled and imposed import bans on dozens of brands found to contain the toxic chemical. It also is working with major retailers to pull those products off shelves. Methanol…

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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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Dr. Joshua Grill Selected to Serve on HFC Scientific Advisory Board

By Commentary, In the News

Composed of thought leaders in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, research, and brain health prevention, education, and risk reduction, HFC’s Science Advisory Board members come from a variety of prestigious institutions. These experts are at the forefront of groundbreaking research and clinical practice in the field. Inaugural members of the board include Dr. Megan Jones-Bell, Annie Fenn, M.D., Lisa Genova, Ph.D, Joshua Grill, Ph.D, Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D, Amanda Smith, M.D.,Dr, Wendy Suzuki, Richard S. Isaacson, M.D.  

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Free COVID-19 antibody testing

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

The UCI Blood Donor Center is now offering free COVID-19 antibody testing for qualified donors who donate blood or platelets. This is exclusively available at the donor center in Orange, not at mobile drives. Testing is open to all, not just UCI employees. Antibody testing does not diagnose a current case of COVID. It may help determine whether a person was previously infected, but not in all cases. Please read this Q & A to better understand the COVID antibody test. The blood donor center is located in Pavilion 3 next to Occupational Health. Hours are Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri….

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Call to action: Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act

By Commentary, In the News

The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement and Alzheimer’s Association need your advocacy support: The Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act (H.R. 6813/S.3703) is critical legislation which would require the Department of Justice to develop training materials to assist professionals who support victims of abuse living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia in order to improve the quality of their interactions with this vulnerable population and help protect them from elder abuse. Support for this legislation has been growing, but to keep up the momentum, it is critical that your Senators hear from you today. Please ask your Senators to co-sponsor and pass…

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Commentary on Flu and Pneumonia Vaccination and Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Dementia

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Hayk Davtyan, PhD Vaccines have become one of the most discussed topics during the COVID-19 pandemic. From development to distribution, the whole world has their eyes on a new vaccine. However, promising new data has now brought common vaccines even to the forefront of discussion in the study of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). At the 2020 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week (#AAIC20), newly presented data shows how flu and pneumonia vaccines may lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous studies have shown the possible connection between vaccination and reducing cognitive decline. Yet, there has not been a…

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Dr. Ahmad Sajjadi Joins ACTC Early Career Project Evaluation Committee

By Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND faculty member, Ahmad Sajjadi, MD, PhD, was recently named a member of the Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC) Early Career Project Evaluation Committee (PEC). The ACTC is a clinical trials network designed to accelerate and expand studies for therapies in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. UCI MIND has been a member of the ACTC network since its inception in 2018. The PEC of the ACTC is an important early first step in determining what trials the network will take on and in this initiative will provide mentorship for early career members. Dr. Sajjadi is an Assistant Professor of Neurology…

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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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UCI MIND leading new training for scientists on Alzheimer’s clinical trials

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

The University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) is leading a new annual multi-day course on clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The course will be directed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND and Rema Raman, PhD, a professor of neurology at the Keck School and the Director of Biostatistics at USC Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI). Other course faculty members include UCI MIND researchers Daniel Gillen, PhD and David Sultzer, MD. The launch of the training program, called IMPACT-AD, is designed to educate and promote diversity among researchers and…

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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 receives record $529 million in research funding for fiscal 2019-20

By Commentary, In the News

20 percent more than last year, the total reflects strong support for campus mission Irvine, Calif., July 20, 2020 — From cutting-edge research and clinical trials focused on cancer care to creating a new center devoted to protecting personal data privacy, University of California, Irvine scholars, scientists and physicians are blazing new paths to help change the world. And their impact keeps growing. In fiscal 2019-20, which ended June 30, UCI researchers received the most funding in campus history: $529 million in grants and contracts. Awards from federal and state agencies, leading foundations and forward-thinking companies increased by 20 percent…

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Tackling Dementia with Technology

By Community Events

Join UCI MIND and Alzheimer’s Orange County for the 31st Annual Southern California Alzheimer’s Disease Research Conference: “Tackling Dementia with Technology” Thursday, September 10, 2020 | 8:00 am – 12:00 pm PST  Live on YouTube & Facebook International experts will discuss how new technology is being used to accelerate science and care for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This free virtual conference welcomes healthcare providers, senior/social service providers, patients and families, researchers, students, and anyone eager to learn. Click here to learn more and register: https://conference.mind.uci.edu 

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CDC Updates Public Data Portal on the Health of Older Adults

By Commentary

Contributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):   The CDC recently updated the Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Data Portal, which provides access to a range of national, regional, and state data on older adults. This resource allows users to examine data on key indicators of health and well-being for older Americans, including caregiving and cognitive decline, by age group, gender, and race/ethnicity. The Portal was updated with 2018 BRFSS data, including data on cognitive decline from 50 states and data on caregivers from 44 states. Portal users can retrieve CDC data by indicator or by geographic…

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WAM Live: Doctor’s Hours today at 3PM PST

By Commentary, Community Events

The doctor is in again! Join us and The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) for WAM Live: Doctor’s Hours, today at 3pm PST on Instagram LIVE with WAM Scientific Advisor & Director of UCI MIND, Dr. Josh Grill: https://www.instagram.com/womensalzmovement/ Have you ever wanted to know about clinical trials, how to get involved, or what that even means? Do you have a burning question about Alzheimer’s or brain health you want answered? Ask Dr. Grill during this informative and interactive Instagram live.

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CA Department of Aging Survey: COVID 19 Impacts & Recommendation

By Community Events, COVID-19

Contributed by the Long-Term Care and Aging Services Division of the California Department of Aging (CDA)   I would like to share with you the California Department of Aging’s latest opportunity for public engagement with the Master Plan for Aging: the COVID-19 Impacts & Recommendation Survey. COVID-19 has changed the lives of Californians in so many ways.  Millions of people of all ages are staying home and reinventing how to live, work, and connect with family, friends, and communities. Many are experiencing isolation, interruption in services, and loss of income due to the pandemic and resulting recession.  Others cannot stay home, because of essential…

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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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Facebook LIVE Q&A: How Does Exercise (Or Lack Thereof) Impact The Brain?

By Commentary, Community Events

About the Speaker: Nicole Berchtold, PhD is an associate project scientist at UCI MIND.  She completed her BS in Biology at Duke University, spent 2 years  in neuroscience research at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and completed her PhD and postdoctoral research at UCI.  She has over 40 publications investigating biological mechanisms by which exercise enhances hippocampal function and learning, and the molecular changes that occur in the brain with aging and Alzheimer’s disease.  She has helped procure multiple grants for over 25 years and is a regular contributor to journal reviews and conferences in her discipline.

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Biogen and Eisai submit aducanumab for FDA approval

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND This morning (July 8, 2020), Biogen and Eisai announced that the two companies had together completed submission to the FDA for regulatory and marketing approval of aducanumab, the monoclonal antibody against the beta amyloid protein that accumulates in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve previously written about the unique set of circumstances under which Biogen is submitting their application. Two large Phase 3 clinical trials were halted for futility in 2019, only for later assessments of the study data to lead to the sponsors to conclude that the drug…

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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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Neighborhood poverty and Alzheimer’s disease

By Commentary

Contributed by Christian Salazar, PhD, UCI MIND Project Scientist While the link between poverty and disease is well documented in health disparities research, a practical way to connect poverty with biological processes has proven to be difficult. Nevertheless, recent advancements like the new publicly-available tool called “The Neighborhood Atlas” has made it easier for health disparities researchers to rank and geographically map neighborhoods according to socioeconomic disadvantage. In a recent JAMA article, researchers linked The Neighborhood Atlas with repositories of brain tissue in a sample of 447 decedents from California and Wisconsin. They found that brain samples from decedents who…

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Breaking News from CA Governor Newsom, and UCI In The News about COVID-19

By COVID-19, In the News

Breaking News from CA Governor Newsom:     COVID-19 cases are spreading at alarming rates in some CA counties. Effective immediately, California Department of Public Health is requiring counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for at least 3 days to move certain sectors outdoors or close. In addition, all brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs in these counties must close immediately, both indoor and outdoor. Visit covid19.ca.gov for more information.   UCI In The News: State puts Orange County on coronavirus watch list: Orange County Register: Bernadette Boden-Albala, dean of University of California, Irvine’s public health program and…

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Updated OC Health Officer Orders & Recommendations as of Jul 1

By COVID-19, In the News

AMENDED ORDERS AND STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COUNTY OF ORANGE HEALTH OFFICER REVISED July 1, 2020 In light of the recent increased COVID-19 hospitalization rate in Orange County, the placement of Orange County on the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) County Monitoring List, and further CDPH guidance, these AMENDED ORDERS AND STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS revise the prior AMENDED ORDERS AND STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS, issued by the Orange County Acting Health Officer on June 19, 2020.  The June 19, 2020 Amended Orders and Strong Recommendations are no longer in effect as of the effective date and time of these AMENDED ORDERS AND…

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Two sisters wanted to lift lonely seniors’ spirits. Here’s what happened next

By COVID-19, In the News

Shreya and Saffron Patel usually FaceTime their grandparents in England every weekend, but during the novel coronavirus pandemic, they have typically reached out each day. Their grandmother on their mom’s side hasn’t left her apartment in nearly four months. She lives alone and can no longer socialize at the gym. Some of her younger friends have stopped by, and she leans out her kitchen window to chat. One friend sends handwritten letters. When the Patel sisters, who live in Boston, spoke to their grandmother, they noticed her mood improve. She texted them about the cards and showed them to her…

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How can we ensure Alzheimer’s is a national priority?

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. While COVID-19 and systemic racism continue to profoundly affect our nation, it is important to reflect on the role of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in these unprecedented times. COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people with dementia and their caregivers, and both conditions disproportionately impact people of color. According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently highlighted in a Wall Street Journal article, approximately 100,000 people died from Alzheimer’s dementia from February through May alone – 18% higher than average. Moreover, the article discusses the pandemic’s abrupt halt to family visits in care facilities and…

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Laughter on Call in the NY Times

By Commentary, Community Events, COVID-19

Laughter On Call founder, Dani Klein Modisett, was recently featured in the New York Times. Learn more about the inspiration behind the program here. 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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