FDA issues warning to dietary supplements making unproven claims

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On February 11, the FDA issued a statement and 12 warning letters related to an aggressive change in the agency’s regulation of dietary supplements. The statement was outlined in the New York Times. The main objective of the new approach is enhanced protection of consumers from mislabeled and unproven claims about treatment of disease. At the core of the problem are a number of companies that specifically target people with Alzheimer’s disease and people who are concerned about developing Alzheimer’s disease. A list of the companies receiving warning letters, as well as links to the letters, can be found here.

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Leslie Thompson gets $6 million CIRM grant to advance Huntington’s disease treatments

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  UCI News, January 30, 2019 – “Leslie Thompson of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and UCI MIND has been awarded $6 million by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to continue her CIRM-supported efforts to create stem cell treatments for Huntington’s disease. The funding will allow the Thompson lab to conduct the late-stage testing needed to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to start a clinical trial in people. The therapy involves transplanting stem cells that have been turned into neural stem cells and shown to improve the function of brain cells in…

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New play aims to educate community on Down syndrome

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Eric Doran, Manager of UCI MIND’s Down Syndrome Program, has partnered with his longtime friend and playwright, Steven Oberman, to tell the true story of Dr. John Langdon Down, the man who first described Down syndrome. We interviewed Mr. Doran to learn more about the vision behind this new play, Blurred at the Edges, set to run in March of 2019 at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego. What is the vision behind Blurred at the Edges? Down syndrome is named after Dr. John Langdon Down, a British physician who first described the condition in 1866. Most parents of a…

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The Rise of Pseudomedicine for Dementia and Brain Health

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Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND Colleagues at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center published a timely critique in JAMA on a concerning and increasing practice in the United States. “Pseudomedicine” is a practice whereby qualified healthcare professionals prescribe supplements or other therapies that are not covered by insurance, and therefore require cash payments, for personal financial gain. Pseudomedicine is especially problematic among older patients and family members concerned about memory loss and desperate for effective therapies to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Other examples of pseudomedicine include recommendations for brain healthy diet plans…

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NPR asks founding director to comment on exercise study

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A study was recently published in the journal Neurology about physical activity’s relation to Alzheimer’s disease and cognition in older adults. NPR asked UCI MIND founding director Dr. Carl Cotman to comment on this impressive study, noting that exercise might “‘offset the ill effects of brain degeneration.’ He adds that lifestyle interventions such as an increase in physical activity and movement can be powerful even in the presence of disease.” Click here to read the article > Dr. Cotman is leading a national clinical trial of exercise at UCI MIND. The trial aims to evaluate whether 18 months of moderate to…

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