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In the News

Adapting to the “new normal” of COVID-19

By COVID-19, In the News

Contributed by Joshua D. Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND Dear friends, I read with interest this morning a blog post from the Director of the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Richard Hodes. Dr. Hodes refers to a “new normal,” in what can only be described the age of COVID-19. At UCI MIND, we are admittedly struggling a bit to adjust to this new normal. Our professional way of life—doing studies with older volunteers and gathering large and small community audiences to share our learnings and recommendations—has been turned upside down, as I know have been your own lives. While we…

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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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Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN) and Lilly announce disappointing results

By In the News

Contributed by Joshua D. Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND Early Monday morning (February 10, 2020), the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) and Eli Lilly & Company announced disappointing results from a clinical trial of the monoclonal antibody, solanezumab, against the beta amyloid protein that accumulates in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease (press release >). The DIAN includes only the rare families who carry genetic mutations that cause an early-onset (3rd, 4th, 5th decade of life) form of Alzheimer’s disease. Solanezumab is also being tested as part of the Anti-Amyloid treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s (A4) Study, which is ongoing…

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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…

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In Memory of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan

By In the News

It is with great sadness that UCI MIND shares news about the passing of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce and a tremendous supporter of brain research. Frieda was 96 years of age when she passed on Saturday. She was a pioneer in many powerful ways. A leader in the U.S. wholesale produce business since 1962, Frieda was the first woman to own and run her own firm. Her specialty was introducing unusual produce to the U.S. market, bringing more than 200 fruits and vegetables from around the world to America. She marketed each new product with…

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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…

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What is the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s?

By In the News

Tune in this Friday, December 6th @ 9AM for the next episode of our monthly Facebook LIVE series, “What is the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s?” This month, we’re joined by Ira Lott, MD, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Neurology at UCI School of Medicine. Dr. Lott is a child neurologist at UCI and CHOC Children’s Hospital and Director of the UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program, which studies Alzheimer’s disease in individuals with Down syndrome. His research has been supported by the NIH, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the State of California, including the largest clinical research grant for Down…

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UCI MIND Investigators Named AAAS Fellows

By In the News

UCI MIND faculty members, Tallie Z. Baram, MD, PhD and Marcelo A. Wood, PhD are named among nine UCI researchers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Baram, the Danette Shepard Chair of Neurological Science and Director of the Conte Center at UCI, is recognized for her distinguished contributions to the understanding of childhood and febrile seizures as well as early life adversity on brain development and their enduring consequences. Dr. Wood, Professor and Chair of Neurobiology & Behavior, is recognized for his distinguished teaching and contributions to the field of memory and addiction, particularly the…

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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….

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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…

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