Skip to main content
Category

Commentary

Today is World Down Syndrome Day!

By Commentary

Did you know that people with Down syndrome are at significantly increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease? UCI MIND researchers, like Ira Lott, MD, Eric Doran, MS, Elizabeth Head, PhD, and Jorge Busciglio, PhD aim to better understand this critical link to improve quality of life and bring us closer to improved treatments and prevention for all people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about the UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program, click here > To read a recent interview with Down Syndrome Program manager, Eric Doran, click here >. In this post, Eric discusses the creation of a new…

Read More

Phase 3 Trials of Aducanumab Halted

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND The global research effort to find effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease has suffered another disappointing setback. Biogen announced today that the company will halt the parallel large Phase 3 trials of the monoclonal antibody against the amyloid beta protein, aducanumab. This treatment was viewed by many to hold tremendous promise. Early results were unprecedented. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease who were treated with aducanumab showed significant reduction in amyloid burden in the brain, which appeared to slow disease progression. The results were based on a small number of participants, however, and were not…

Read More

Participants are needed for a new Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial at UC Irvine and UCLA.

By Commentary

People ages 50 and older who have memory problems are needed for a new clinical trial for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease at the University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Irvine. The NEAT study is a clinical trial sponsored by the University of California “Cures for Alzheimer’s Initiative,” testing whether nicotinamide, a component of vitamin B3, can slow Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the 12-month study is investigating if a high daily dose of nicotinamide can affect the brain tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The study also measures whether nicotinamide is effective in improving memory and other thinking…

Read More

VIDEO: “What causes memory problems in older adults?” with Dr. Ahmad Sajjadi

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

Facebook Live Series - ASK THE DOC: Alzheimer's Research Today! This monthly series features short talks and Q&A with experts from the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), 1 of 32 congressionally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation. Join UCI MIND on Facebook (@UCIrvineMIND) the first Friday of every month from 9:00-9:30 AM PST to learn about advances in research to improve Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Episode 2: "What causes memory problems in older adults?" Dr. Ahmad Sajjadi is Assistant Professor of Neurology in the UCI School of Medicine....

Read More

Forgetful Yet Unforgettable: The Legacy of an Alzheimer’s Patient

By Commentary, In the News

In an interview with UCI undergraduate students, Chelsea Cox, Associate Director of Eduction for UCI MIND, shares her personal journey with Alzheimer’s disease, her perspective on care and research, and how people – young and old – can get involved in the cause. “…No one should have to spend their final days that way. This experience is what motivated me to get involved in Alzheimer’s research and education. So that hopefully, one day, other people don’t have to go through what my family went through.” Read the full interview on Medium >

Read More

FDA issues warning to dietary supplements making unproven claims

By Commentary, In the News

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.

Read More

VIDEO: “Can poor sleep cause Alzheimer’s?” with Dr. Bryce Mander

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

Facebook Live Series - ASK THE DOC: Alzheimer's Research Today! This monthly series features short talks and Q&A with experts from the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), 1 of 32 congressionally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation. Join UCI MIND on Facebook (@UCIrvineMIND) the first Friday of every month from 9:00-9:30 AM PST to learn about advances in research to improve Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Episode 1: "Can poor sleep cause Alzheimer's?" Bryce Mander, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at UCI. He received his...

Read More

The Rise of Pseudomedicine for Dementia and Brain Health

By Commentary, In the News

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…

Read More

Washington Post article highlights need for Latino representation in Alzheimer’s clinical studies (Written in English & Spanish)

By Commentary

Washington Post article highlights need for Latino representation in Alzheimer’s clinical studies Contributed by Christian Salazar, PhD, UCI MIND Associate Project Scientist A rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, caused by a gene mutation first discovered among people living in Jalisco, Mexico, develops at much earlier age than typical cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Andres Martin, a 31-year old Marine, has this ‘Jalisco mutation’, and is committed to raising awareness that the fight against Alzheimer’s disease does not only impact older adults. He’s especially motivated to protect those like his daughter, Alexis, a 2-year old who has a 50% chance of inheriting…

Read More

Critical need for diversity in Alzheimer’s disease research

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND In a new study, colleagues at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University have found that levels of the cerebrospinal fluid protein tau, one of the hallmark pathologies in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is lower in African Americans compared to Whites. This was true both for older participants who did and did not have memory problems. The study is not the first to find such differences between African Americans and Caucasians and it has important implications to a number of important areas of AD research. First, there is a growing movement…

Read More

Dr. Joshua Grill discusses A4 Study results in Alzforum

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

This week Alzforum posted coverage from the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, including UCI MIND Director Dr. Joshua Grill’s presentation of data from The A4 Study (Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s Disease Study). In The A4 Study, a secondary prevention trial of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, people with elevated amyloid had higher levels of memory complaints than those without elevated amyloid. To read the full article, click here > 

Read More

The impact on everybody else, it’s enormous

By Commentary

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD This week’s 60 Minutes did an excellent job of illustrating, in 13 minutes, the 10-year progression of Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on patients and their caregivers. In addition to the unrelenting progression of the disease, the piece showed viewers the toll the disease takes on care providers, including the physical, financial, and emotional burdens. On average, the cost of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to exceed $300,000 total. And caregivers are at increased risk for physical and mental ailments, resulting from the stress of their role and the fact that…

Read More

New York Times article breaks down barriers to recruitment and brings hope with a new trial

By Commentary, In the News

The New York Times recently covered a new clinical trial effort Eli Lilly is undertaking, the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ clinical research study. The study, which UCI MIND investigators are participating in, aims to enroll 375 people with early Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ study, click here, or contact us at research@mind.uci.edu or call 949.824.0008.

Read More

Alessandra Martini – UCI MIND at #AAIC18

By Commentary

UCI MIND postdoctoral researcher Alessandra Martini presents her research on inflammation and cognition in AD at AAIC 2018: "We used the triple transgenic mouse model that was actually developed at UCI, and we are hoping to...use this protein as a possible biomarker or as a target for treatment."

Read More

UCI Researchers awarded grant to explore gender differences in Alzheimer’s

By Commentary, In the News

Currently, 2 out of every 3 people with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Last year, UCI MIND began a partnership with Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. This partnership launched a grant competition focused on understanding the role of sex in Alzheimer’s disease. UCI researchers Sunil Gandhi and Mathew Blurton-Jones have been awarded this year’s $100,000 grant. Their research will focus on the role of microglia in the brains of men and women using induced pluripotent stem cells generated from skin cells donated by UCI ADRC participants, modern mouse models of the disease, and cutting edge microscopy techniques. To learn more >

Read More

We’re happy to hear good news, but we still need to see the data

By Commentary, In the News

This week, BioArctic Neuroscience, Esai, and Biogen made headlines when they announced via press release the topline and positive results of their Phase 2a study of the anti-amyloid antibody BAN2401. The press release indicated that the drug “demonstrated statistically significant slowing in clinical decline and reduction of amyloid beta accumulated in the brain” in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. To be sure, this is welcomed news. Too often headlines for Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials are about “flops” and “failures.” So we should take this good news and embrace it. Unfortunately, there remain many questions to which we need answers before we…

Read More

Possible link between human herpes viruses and Alzheimer’s disease

By Commentary, In the News

Recent scientific reports, one in the journal Neuron and another coming out in the journal Cell, present some intriguing new data indicating a link between human herpes viruses and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Because the majority of AD cases cannot be attributed to genetics alone, there has been keen interest in finding other factors that affect the risk of developing AD. Head trauma and infections are two such factors that have received attention by researchers. With regard to infectious agents, speculation has often centered on the herpes viruses, especially herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1). Human herpes viruses are neurotropic, which means they...

Read More

With Mother’s Day in MIND

By Commentary

Reflections on Mother’s Day by Virginia Naeve and Dr. Rosalyn Laudati, members of the UCI MIND Leadership Council. I just received an email advertisement from a lovely seaside restaurant stating that they are providing a “Mother’s Day Brunch that your mother will never forget.” I would have loved taking mom there on Mother’s Day, but Alzheimer’s disease forever changed those kinds of plans for us. Up until about the last four years of mom’s disease, we always loved Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, as her disease progressed, it was heartbreaking for me to realize that Mother’s Day had lost its meaning for…

Read More

The role of exercise in reducing or slowing Alzheimer’s disease

By Commentary, In the News

The role of exercise in reducing or slowing Alzheimer’s disease keeps coming up on headlines. Observational studies like the one in this article suggest that brain health may be different for older adults who exercise versus those who do not. While the results of studies like this one are intriguing, disease modifying effects need to be demonstrated in a larger and more diverse populations using accessible, cost-effective and sustainable programs that have the potential for implementation in a community setting. To address this need, UCI MIND and the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) have partnered with the YMCA of the USA…

Read More

Sleepy older adults accumulate amyloid pathology more quickly

By Commentary, In the News

As reported in CNN, a new study published in JAMA Neurology indicates that healthy older adults who are excessively sleepy during the day show a greater buildup over time of β-amyloid plaques, a defining brain feature of Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those who are not excessively sleepy. As we describe in our editorial on this article, this study is an important advance in our understanding of how sleep disturbance in general can result in increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Many studies over the past few years, including our own, have linked poor sleep to increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease,…

Read More

Love, Marriage, and Alzheimer’s disease

By Commentary

Numerous studies have shown links between lifestyle factors and risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. A new assessment of available studies by investigators at University College in London examines one lifestyle factor, marriage, and finds that people with a spouse may be at decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In contrast, widows and people who have been single their whole lives may be at 20-40% increased risk. At UCI MIND, a variety of studies have explored the implications of spousal status on Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. In particular, we’ve shown that people with Alzheimer’s who lack a…

Read More

Perspectives on amyloid PET imaging

By Commentary, In the News

A new study published in JAMA Neurology explored participants’ perspectives on receiving amyloid PET scan results as part of an Alzheimer’s disease prevention clinical trial, the A4 study.  Participants at UCI MIND contributed to this important research, led by investigators at the University of Pennsylvania (read more about the study here). Amyloid PET is a biomarker test that could someday be used to identify people at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease who may benefit from preventative or disease-delaying treatments. Biomarker testing such as amyloid PET is being used more and more in the research setting to identify participants appropriate for Alzheimer’s disease…

Read More

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day!

By Commentary, Community Events

Today, September 21, is WORLD ALZHEIMER’S DAY! Our faculty and staff are spending this day, as they do every other day: In the laboratory performing cutting edge research with molecules, cells, and animal models to unlock the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and identify treatment targets Working with volunteer participants who have donated their time to help us better understand, diagnose, and treat Alzheimer’s disease through research Conducting clinical trials of promising therapies we hope will prevent, reduce, or reverse Alzheimer’s disease We hope today you will consider doing one or all of the following: ADVOCATE: Write to your local, state, or federal representative and communicate the need for increased funding for Alzheimer’s research and improved…

Read More

Blood test for Alzheimer’s disease? UCI MIND investigator, Dr. Mark Mapstone comments

By Commentary, In the News

By now, most Alzheimer’s researchers have seen the writing on the wall. If we are to realize successful treatments or even a cure for Alzheimer’s disease we must turn our attention from the study of patients who have already developed dementia to those who are in the earliest stages of the disease where presumably, the brain pathology is less extensive and possibly more receptive to intervention. This shift to studying preclinical disease will allow us to determine exactly what the earliest brain changes are and hopefully, develop means to treat, reverse, or even prevent these changes years before the symptoms…

Read More

Recent publication on chronic traumatic encephalopathy in American football players

By Commentary

By S. Ahmad Sajjadi, MD, PhD, MRCPAssistant Professor, Neurology In the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from Boston University published seminal findings on the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players. Understandably, the study has generated numerous headlines. CTE is characterized by abnormal accumulation of a protein called tau in specific parts of the brain after repeated head trauma, leading to abnormal behavior, cognitive decline, or both. In the new study, the largest study of its kind, post mortem examination of the brains of 202 football players revealed a high prevalence...

Read More

AAIC 2017 Research Update: Diet & Brain Function

By Commentary, In the News

CNN has featured data presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, which offer the latest support to the value of a healthy diet to late life brain function. The study by investigators at UCSF and University of Michigan examined a national cohort for adherence to the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is associated with lower risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, two conditions linked to Alzheimer's disease. In line with several previous studies, the investigators found that those who eat a diet composed largely of plants and healthy fats (found in fish, nuts and olive oil, for example) are...

Read More

Day 2: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London

By Commentary, In the News

Play Video Day 2 at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference featured a poster presentation from Dr. Chuang-Kuo Wu on his research to better understand and diagnose posterior cortical atrophy (video) and a lecture from Dr. S. Ahmad Sajjadi on higher education as a protective factor against cognitive decline in the oldest-old. Over 5,600 researchers and clinicians are in attendance at the conference this year, providing UCI MIND exciting opportunities to learn from and share findings with our global partners in the fight to solve Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Read More

CDC reports 55% increase in U.S. deaths due to Alzheimer’s

By Commentary, In the News

Today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed what researchers at UCI MIND have long known to be true: Alzheimer’s disease is an escalating public health crisis that requires increased attention. The report examined rates of death due to Alzheimer’s disease from 1999 to 2014 and found a staggering 55% national increase over that time. Rates were higher among women than men and among non-Hispanic whites compared to other racial/ethnic populations. However, over this time period Alzheimer's death rates saw a greater increase within minority groups compared to non-Hispanic whites. The report also confirmed that the number of Alzheimer’s deaths is highest in...

Read More

UCI MIND investigators discuss their recent publication in Neuron

By Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND investigators Mathew Blurton-Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior, Wayne Poon, PhD, Director of UCI MIND Tissue Repository, and Edsel Abud, MD/PhD student, have created a method to generate brain cells called microglia using human skin cells. Here, they discuss their findings and what it means for Alzheimer's disease research in an interview with Chelsea Cox, Associate Director of Education: What is microglia and what role does it play in Alzheimer's disease? Poon: Microglia are the immune cells of the brain. They play a big role in the inflammation of the brain that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease. How can...

Read More

FDA approves 23andMe for limited direct-to-consumer genetic risk testing

By Commentary, In the News

On April 6, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) partially reversed an earlier decision to halt direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing by the company 23andMe, a personal genomics company based in Silicon Valley. The new decision approves the company to provide “genetic health risk reports” for 10 diseases, including 8 rare disorders—Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, Celiac Disease, Early-Onset Primary Dystonia, Factor XI Deficiency, G6PD Deficiency, Gaucher Disease, Hereditary Hemochromatosis, and Hereditary Thrombophilia—and two common age-related neurological disorders—Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). After age, the strongest risk factor for AD is genetics. The e4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE) is by…

Read More

A quick cure for Alzheimer’s?

By Commentary, In the News

Letters: A quick cure for Alzheimer’s? OC Register, March 29, 2017 Re: “Is Alzheimer’s treatment of injecting stem cells into the brain a breakthrough or quackery?” [News, March 5]: The Register recently reported on a local neurosurgeon who is injecting liposuctioned stem cell serum into the brain of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease for $10,000 per treatment. The neurosurgeon says the patient is improving…

Read More