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Yearly Archives

2022

UCI MIND postdoctoral fellow explores the link between spatial navigation and Alzheimer’s

By Commentary, In the News

Spatial navigation is one of the cognitive processes that is affected early in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Liz Chrastil’s lab and a REMIND co-chair, Dr. Vaisakh Puthusseryppady published a paper as part of his doctoral research on the use of Global Positioning Software (GPS) to track outdoor movement patterns of people with AD in the community. He found that when alone, participants with AD tended to make fewer outings into the community, and once outside, tended to be more restricted in their movement when compared to their unimpaired counterparts.  At UCI, Dr. Puthusseryppady is advancing this work by…

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Letter from the NIA acknowledges Alzheimer’s advances made at UCI MIND

By Commentary, In the News

Dr. Richard Hodes, the Director of the National Institute on Aging, published a blog about the significant progress that has been made towards advancing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research in the past decade.  He cites several important accomplishments and specifically acknowledges the new mouse model that was developed at UC Irvine as part of MODEL-AD.  Led by Drs. LaFerla, Tenner, Green, Mortazavi, Baglietto-Vargas, and MacGregor, the team created the first animal model that closely resembles the human form of sporadic AD. Click here to read Dr. Hodes’ blog post reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease

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UCI MIND statement on Laguna Woods shooting

By Commentary, In the News

We at UCI MIND are heartbroken by the events of Sunday May 15 at Simpson Hall at Geneva Presbyterian Church on El Toro Road in Laguna Woods. We know very well this area, this church, and the community it serves. We have spoken previously at this very spot in partnership with the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, sharing information about brain health and recruiting participants to our studies. All violence is senseless. Violence against people because of their race, ethnicity, political stances or other group membership is an act of hatred and even more tragic and painful. Our thoughts and prayers…

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Report on Aging in Orange County 2022

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Orange County Aging Services Collaborative: We are excited to announce the release of the Report on Aging in Orange County 2022! This report maps the system of senior support and data available in four key areas: disability, the digital divide, food insecurity, and social isolation.Everyone is invited to read the report and are encouraged to share with your networks. Report on Older Adults in Orange County: 2022 Report on Aging in Orange County 2022

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Hope Dies Last – Alzheimer’s: A Journey of Lost Memories

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, Community Events, In the News

Don’t miss this upcoming documentary filmed by OCWorld, featuring Director Dr. Joshua Grill – Tune in this Sunday on KDOCTV at 3:30pm! Contributed by OCWorld: “Tune in THIS SUNDAY on KDOCTV at 3:30pm for the premier of our final installment of our first season. This is Hope Dies Last – Alzheimer’s: A Journey of Lost Memories. This short documentary explores the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease in Orange County, a growing epicenter for the disease. Featuring insights on the disease from experts like Dr. Joshua Grill from UCI MIND and Deborah Levy, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association OC Chapter.

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Cell therapy: a new frontier in Parkinson’s disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

After decades of research into the causes and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, UCI Health neurologist Dr. Claire Henchcliffe is hopeful that a new cell therapy can finally bring meaningful relief to patients with the progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder. A national expert on Parkinson’s disease, she is one of a small group of U.S. researchers conducting a first-in-human clinical trial of transplanted stem cells engineered to replace dopamine-producing neurons that are destroyed by the debilitating and incurable condition. As the brain loses its ability to produce the potent neurotransmitting chemical, that leads to the tremors, stiffness, slowness and lack of coordination seen in Parkinson’s patients. The…

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Visit-to-Visit Blood Pressure Variability and CSF Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers in Cognitively Unimpaired and Mildly Impaired Older Adults

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Blood pressure variability is an emerging risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, but mechanisms remain unclear. The current study examined whether visit-to-visit blood pressure variability is related to CSF Alzheimer’s disease biomarker levels over time, and whether associations differed by APOE ϵ4 carrier status.

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Join our team! Applications are now live for the Director of Scientific Communications

By Commentary

Join our team! Applications are now live for the Director of Scientific Communications. The University of California, Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) has an opportunity for a Project Scientist. The mission of UCI MIND is to engage in cutting edge, interdisciplinary research designed to discover the basic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and brain aging, characterize the transition from normal aging to Alzheimer’s disease, and develop new treatments to slow or eliminate cognitive impairment resulting from any etiology. Critical to this mission are dissemination of research findings to the community for the purpose of increasing public confidence…

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UCI Generates Preliminary Evidence of a Gene Mutation That May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Image Courtesy: AARP Through new developments in Alzheimer’s research, UCI scientists have uncovered evidence of P522R, a particular gene mutation that may aid in minimizing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that slowly deteriorates memory and thinking skills in the brain, eventually leading to a loss in the ability to complete simple tasks such as  facilitating a conversation or responding to a stimulus in the environment. With the discovery of the disease in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, its causes today are focused on two suspects: plaques and tangles in proteins. Beta-amyloid, fragments of…

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CMS Released Final Decision on Aduhelm

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD: The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) recently released their final decision related to coverage for the monoclonal antibody against beta amyloid, aducanumab (Aduhelm®). The decision was expected by many and includes only a few changes from the preliminary decision announced January 11. The decision remains that CMS will pay for aducanumab under a coverage with evidence determination (CED). This means that the drug will only be covered when a person with Mild Cognitive Impairment or mild dementia is enrolled in a randomized controlled trial. Such trials will need to be approved by CMS…

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For people with Down syndrome, a longer life, but under a cloud

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

The Washington Post – April 7, 2022 The FDA approval of Aduhelm ignited a raging debate, with many doctors saying they would not prescribe the drug and several insurers declining to pay for it. Yet even with the uncertainty surrounding the drug, said Elizabeth Head, [professor of pathology], at the University of California, Irvine, it is understandable why some families, especially those in which a loved one with Down syndrome faces an all but certain fate, “might believe doing something is better than doing nothing.”

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Study links early life adversity, microglia dysfunction, to aberrant adult stress responses, mental illness

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

“Much of neuroscience and study of brain diseases has focused on the brain’s neurons. This study highlights that in addition to neurons, other brain cells, and especially immune cells, play crucial roles in brain health and disease,” said Tallie Z. Baram, distinguished professor in the Departments of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Pediatrics, Neurology, and Physiology & Biophysics at the UCI School of Medicine. “Neuroimmune interactions are a novel, important avenue to understanding and treating several brain disorders and mental illness and have been linked by other UCI researchers to Alzheimer’s disease.”

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‘First person’ interview with Gianna Fote in the Journal of Cell Science

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

First author Gianna Fote was recently interviewed by the Journal of Cell Science for a newly-published paper. She provided commentary on her team’s new findings for UCI MIND: “In our recently published work we studied intracellular trafficking of Apolipoprotein E (APOE), a lipid-carrying protein. The APOE4 isoform of this protein is the biggest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. We found that that APOE can be degraded by a process called autophagy, a process in which cellular waste is transported to an acidic organelle called the lysosome. The APOE4 isoform accumulates in the lysosome and causes increased induction of…

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‘Anyone can get Alzheimer’s. Anyone can be a caregiver.’

By Commentary, In the News

Study reaching caregivers in underserved communities for education, coaching Associate Professor Jung-Ah Lee (right) and her caregiver study team. Caregiving is often called the invisible profession. It isn’t to Jung-Ah Lee. The associate professor at the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing has witnessed the burden caregivers carry, especially those caring for a loved one who has dementia. She has dedicated her career to alleviating it. With the help of a research team including community education specialists, also known as community health workers, Lee ensures that important culturally appropriate information about caregiving for someone with dementia reaches those who…

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Winter 2022

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

Message from the Director Dear Friends of UCI MIND, The COVID-19 surge caused by the Omicron variant has produced unwanted challenges for our research. Yet, our investigators remain unrelenting and highly successful in their work. Dr. Ira Lott received the international Trisomy 21 Research Society Montserrat Trueta Award (page 1). Dr. Claudia Kawas received the UCI Senate Better World Award (page 5). We honored Bob and Virginia Naeve with our UCI MIND Award, though we were unable to hold our A December to Remember Gala, to deliver it with the pomp and circumstance they deserve (page 7). Cherry Justice has…

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New Preventive Vaccine for Alzheimer’s Disease Gets Grant

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

eturbonews: The Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM), a non-profit organization dedicated to basic and translational molecular research to develop safe, effective vaccines against #Alzheimers disease and other #neurodegenerative disorders, today announced that it was awarded a $12 million grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)​ to support clinical trials of its beta-#amyloid (Aβ) vaccines based on DNA (AV-1959D) and recombinant protein (AV-1959R) for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In collaboration with the @ucirvine (Principal Investigator, David Sultzer, M.D.) and @uscedu (Principal Investigator, Lon Schneider, M.D.), IMM (Principal Investigator and…

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Frequent and Feared. But Can Dementia Be Avoided?

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Managed Healthcare Executive – March 17, 2022 According to the CDC, about 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease …. “These numbers are projected to increase because elderly individuals are the fastest-growing segment in the United States,” says Claudia H. Kawas, M.D., a professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. … The things known about dementia risk that are potentially modifiable are all related to general health and maintenance of health, says Kawas, noting the association between control of high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a lower risk of dementia.

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Dr. Josh Grill Giving A Talk in English with Mandarin Chinese Translation 3/24/22

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

UCI MIND Director Dr. Josh Grill is giving a talk on Zoom about Dementia Care, hosted by Happy 50 Plus, on March 24, 2022 from 4-5:30 PM. He will be speaking on “Effective Diagnosis and Treatment for Alzheimer’s, and What’s New on the Horizon.” This event will be in English with Mandarin Chinese translation. The talk is free to join, but pre-registration is required. Zoom Registration link: bit.ly/DementiaCare0324 Please see the flyer below for information regarding this upcoming event.

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Inside the brain: The role of neuropathology in Alzheimer’s disease research

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

90+ Study: Learning from the oldest-old Researchers can learn a lot about how Alzheimer’s develops by studying people at increased risk. People older than age 90, or the oldest-old, are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States and most of the world and have the highest rates of dementia. Remarkably, the oldest-old also have the highest rate of cognitive resilience and somehow avoid developing dementia despite having brain pathologies. This populations’ high rates of dementia, yet also resilience, make it an optimal group to study to understand the underlying causes of dementia. The 90+ Study, launched in…

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International Women’s Day 2022

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

This International Women’s Day, UCI MIND remains committed to understanding why almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. Research conducted in partnership with Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, whose organization has awarded $500,000 to UCI MIND since its launch in 2017, seeks to answer that question. Show your support by advocating, donating, and participating in research today!

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Should people with Down syndrome demand coverage of Aduhelm for them?

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Elizabeth Head, Josh Grill, and Ira Lott People with Down syndrome are at high risk for developing Alzheimer disease beginning after the age of 40 years.  This is due, in part, to the extra copy of chromosome 21, which contains the amyloid precursor protein gene and leads to higher production of beta-amyloid with age.  Indeed, there is evidence that the overproduction of amyloid in Down syndrome is a strong driver of Alzheimer disease, which is why treatments targeting beta-amyloid could be impactful for this group of adults.  In our current exciting times, which includes the first ever approval…

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Determining if Dementia Is Uniquely Human

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Discover Magazine: Aging dogs can develop canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), sometimes known as “doggie dementia.” The brains of dogs with CCD show only amyloid beta plaques, not tau tangles, but their symptoms are similar to the symptoms of dementia in humans, explains Elizabeth Head, [professor of medicine and] director of the graduate program in experimental pathology at the University of California, Irvine. “They’ll forget how to signal that they need to go out,” Head says. “In the more severe stages of the disease, they can become incontinent and may not recognize people.” She points out that because dogs live closely with…

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Celebrating Black Americans’ contributions to Alzheimer’s research

By Commentary, In the News, Participants

Contributed by Christian Salazar, PhD Black Americans are more likely than White Americans to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. This may be of no surprise considering that some of the same risk factors of heart disease that disproportionately affect African Americans in midlife- obesity, type-2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension- can also impact brain health later in life. Black Americans can therefore benefit from participating in clinical trials like the AHEAD 3/45 study, which aims to test whether an investigational treatment can slow or stop the earliest brain changes due to Alzheimer’s disease in people with a higher risk of developing the…

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Behind a Good Mutation: UCI MIND researchers use stem cells to study a ‘genetic mutation’ that protects against Alzheimer’s Disease

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Hayk Davtyan, Ph.D. and Christel Claes, Ph.D. While the word “mutation” may conjure up alarming notions, a mutation in brain immune cells serves a positive role in protecting people against Alzheimer’s disease. Now UCI MIND biologists have discovered the mechanisms behind this crucial process. Their paper appears in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The investigation centered on a variant of the PLCG2 gene, which makes the instructions for producing an enzyme important to brain immune cells called microglia. “Recently the mutation, which is known as P522R, was shown to lower the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s,” said Hayk…

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UCI receives renewal of designation as Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Renewal recognizes UCI’s dedication to patient care and active engagement in research to develop new therapeutic approaches February 15, 2022 “Renewal of certification as a Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence is very exciting, as this will help us expand our patient care and research. HD was one of the first diseases for which a genetic cause was determined and serves as a paradigm for research into other such diseases,” says Leslie Thompson, Ph.D., Donald Bren and Chancellor’s professor in the departments of psychiatry and human behavior and biological chemistry at the UCI School of Medicine. UCI has…

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University Of California, Irvine Launches Institute For Precision Health

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND #InTheNews: Forbes: “According to UCI, the new center will involve collaborations across seven areas: SMART (statistics, machine learning-artificial intelligence) designs software to integrate and analyze health records, molecular data, and observation. This unit will be led by Daniel Gillen, professor and chair of statistics, and Zhaoxia Yu, associate professor of statistics… Precision omics generates, analyzes, and administers genomic, proteomic, and chemical data. It’s led by Suzanne Sandmeyer, professor of biological chemistry, and Leslie Thompson, the Donald Bren and Chancellor’s Professor of psychiatry & human behavior at UCI… The institute will take special aim at diseases that heretofore have lacked effective treatments. “For many…

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More healthy behaviors = lower risk of Alzheimer’s, research shows

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

UCI MIND #InTheNews   @Seniors Matter – Feb. 9, 2022 “People who engaged in more healthy behaviors had a lower risk than people with fewer because all of these things matter, and when it comes to brain-healthy behaviors, more is more!” said Joshua Grill, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine. “So, we should all try to adopt as many brain-healthy behaviors as we can.”

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New date for in-person support group meetings for Down syndrome/AD caregivers

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

We are pleased to announce that the in-person support group meetings for families who are caring for individuals living with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease are resuming next month in March.  All details may be found in the flyer linked here and below. These meetings are co-sponsored by The Down Syndrome Program at UCI MIND, The Regional Center of Orange County, and Alzheimer’s Orange County, in collaboration with the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County.

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What Memories Are Made Of

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Our memories are imperfect treasures – dear to our hearts, but not necessarily accurate snapshots of reality. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to neurobiologist Michael Yassa about how memories are stored in the brain, why we forget, and what we’ve gotten wrong about how it’s supposed to work. To help understand the mechanisms of memory, we meet a woman who remembers absolutely everything… and a man who can’t even recall what he ate for breakfast. Plus, actionable tips for how we can keep our memories sharp at any age.

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Mastering the Master Plan translated into Spanish, English, Vietnamese, and ASL

By Commentary, Community Events

Originally posted by Orange County Aging Services Collaborative (OCASC): We now have Mastering the Master Plan translated into Spanish, English, Vietnamese, and ASL! Please see below links to share with everyone you know. This event was hosted by the collaborative and the County of Orange on Nov 5th, 2021 to educate everyone about the CA Master Plan for Aging. It also included a town hall with elected officials. This is an important topic and this plan needs to be implemented at the local level. Do YOU know about the CA Master Plan for Aging? What are your elected officials doing…

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First person interview – Gianna Fote

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Originally posted on The Company of Biologists “First Person is a series of interviews with the first authors of a selection of papers published in Journal of Cell Science, helping early-career researchers promote themselves alongside their papers.” UCI MIND trainee Gianna Fote was recently selected for an interview to discuss her latest publication. Read the full interview here, and learn about her publication here.

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Place Your Order for Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests

By Commentary, COVID-19, In the News

Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS. Here’s what you need to know about your order: Limit of one order per residential address One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests Orders will ship free starting in late January Fill in this form with your contact and shipping information to order your tests: https://special.usps.com/testkits

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CMS announces decision on anti-amyloid monoclonal antibodies (Written in English & Spanish)

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD January 11, 2022 — Today the U.S Centers Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced their decision to cover monoclonal antibodies against the beta amyloid protein that accumulates in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease only in the setting of randomized controlled trials (read the announcement here). This Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) decision is open to public comment for 30-days before taking effect. The decision, if finalized, will to limit access to the one approved monoclonal antibody, Biogen’s drug aducanumab (Aduhelm), and any subsequently approved monoclonal antibodies, to Medicare beneficiaries who are participating in…

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Spotlight on Care Year in Review

By Commentary, Community Events, In the News

Here's to a great year of podcasting with our new series for caregiver stories, Spotlight on Care! Let's take a look at 2021: Top Episode Recognizing the Early Signs of Alzheimer's Disease with Bill Edwards was the most popular episode of Spotlight on Care in 2021. It was published on February 02 and has been downloaded 186 times. Listen to it here! 19 Episodes In 2021, Spotlight on Care published 10 hours of new content across 19 episodes. That’s 587 minutes or 35,256 seconds to be more precise. 2,311 Downloads In 2021, Spotlight on Care episodes were downloaded 2,311 times thanks...

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