Category

Commentary

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]

Read More

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…

Read More

From Postdocs to PI’s: Training Scientists For Success

By Commentary, In the News

Faculty members Mathew Blurton-Jones, PhD, Kim Green, PhD, and Masashi Kitazawa, PhD, are principal investigators (PI) of productive, independent laboratories at UCI MIND all aiming to target the underlying cause of and develop effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related disorders. How did they get to where they are now? After graduate school in 2003, they came together from different backgrounds to train with renowned scientist, Frank LaFerla, PhD, who continues to run a successful laboratory of his own at UCI MIND.   Blurton-Jones, Green, and Kitazawa reflect on their training experience and what they believe to be their…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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….

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Commentary on the link between brain disease and sleep-wake systems

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Bryce Mander, PhD Our colleagues at UCSF recently published findings in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia examining how tau pathology in different brain diseases – Alzheimer’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration – impacts brain cells that are in charge of keeping us awake. This study reported several important findings: In all three diseases, there was a reduction in brain cells that help promote cortical arousal. In all three diseases, tau pathology was quite substantial in several of the wake-promoting cells in the brainstem region. Tau pathology in the brainstem in Alzheimer’s disease was associated with a much…

Read More