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Dr. Craig Stark Comments for Science Magazine

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

UCI MIND faculty member, Craig Stark, PhD was recently quoted in Science Magazine discussing the critical role scientists play in helping improve society. The article focuses on a push to better understand the science behind addiction, and how scientists are spreading evidence-based treatment knowledge through regional and national seminars. By regularly hosting seminars to gather scientific and legal experts, researchers can better inform the criminal justice system on how to improve substance abuse recovery rates in the incarcerated population. Dr. Stark, a neurobiologist who specializes in brain imaging at UCI, has presented at dozens of these legal seminars, speaking on…

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NPR Reports on the EXERT Study

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NPR recently spoke on All Things Considered about the EXERT Study, a nationwide clinical trial of exercise led by Carl Cotman, PhD, UCI MIND’s Founding Director, and Laura Baker, PhD, Associate Director of the ADRC at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The study involves an 18-month exercise program at the local YMCA for 65-89 year-olds with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Throughout the program, researchers look at participants’ cognition, blood flow, atrophy (cell loss), and harmful protein accumulation in the brain. Researchers hope to learn about the clinical effect of exercise, as well as the scientific basis for their findings. NPR interviewed…

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UCI MIND scientists discover exercise can reprogram genes

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Carl W. Cotman, PhD and Nicole C. Berchtold, PhD It is increasingly recognized that exercise builds brain health. At a fundamental level, brain health and function depend on the expression of the brain’s genes, the building blocks of cells. In a recent paper that appeared in the journal “Neurobiology of Aging” (2019), Drs. Carl Cotman, Nicole Berchtold and coworkers demonstrated that in the brains of healthy older people, exercise reprograms gene expression patterns to a more youthful state, even in cognitively normal people (75-100 yrs old). Genes that were particularly targeted are those that boost cellular energy production and build…

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UCI MIND researchers define pathway required to slow Huntington’s disease progression in mice

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Joan Steffan, PhD In a recent paper published in Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences, colleagues and I show that a critical regulator of the immune system – called kinase IKKbeta – helps slow the onset of Huntington’s disease (HD) in mice, and this may be due to activation of a process called autophagy.  Autophagy helps cells clean out and recycle their ‘trash’. Accumulation of trash can occur as we age and when disease is present, so regular cleaning enabled by autophagy is critical to maintain cellular function. In HD, brain cell autophagy fails, leading to an accumulation of harmful proteins that…

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Commentary on new FDA warning for insomnia medications

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Contributed by Bryce Mander, PhD The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently required some sleep medications which are commonly used to treat insomnia to add black box warning labels. The reason for this decision is because there have been reported incidents of individuals engaging in activities that commonly occur during wakefulness during sleep while on these medications, including sleep walking, sleep driving, sleep eating, and sleep cooking. On rare occasions, these symptoms have resulted in serious injuries or life-threatening incidents, which has led to the inclusion of the black box label. The FDA has also issued a contraindication for…

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Dr. Kim Green Comments on ‘Missing Microglia’ for The Atlantic

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The Atlantic – April 11, 2019.  Kim Green, a neurobiologist at UC Irvine, notes mutant mice lacking microglia have broadly similar patterns of disorganization in their brains. These mice models essentially predicted what would happen in the human. He had just never expected to see a person without microglia. “It’s absolutely remarkable,” he says.

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Does Red Wine Really Help You Live Longer? Dr. Claudia Kawas Comments for TIME

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TIME – April 11, 2019. “Alcohol could be beneficial through biological mechanisms like increasing [healthy] HDL cholesterol, affecting clotting mechanisms and blood platelets, or [having] effects on the vascular system,” says Dr. Claudia Kawas, a professor of neurology at the University of California, Irvine whose research has found that some of the oldest-living adults tend to drink alcohol in moderation.

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Dr. Joshua Grill Discusses ‘Pseudomedicine’ with AARP

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AARP – April 10, 2019. “A common situation is an older adult becoming concerned about their memory and taking a supplement to try to ward off dementia,” says Joshua Grill, director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine. “But in reality, if they saw their doctor, they might find out that another medical condition such as hypothyroidism, or a certain prescription medication, is causing symptoms and can be easily treated. They’re just making things worse.” And if you do have dementia, he adds, you could start a drug treatment to relieve symptoms,…

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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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Dr. Ira Lott, Director of UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program, featured in OC Business Journal

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Dr. Ira Lott, Director of the UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program, discussed the connection between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease with the Orange County Business Journal this week.  Dr. Lott and his team conduct critical research studies with volunteer participants to improve understanding of brain aging and dementia in Down syndrome. Click here to read the article > To learn more about studies in Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, click here >

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Novel genetics research opens door to potential new therapies for dementia

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UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Vivek Swarup, and colleagues at UCLA, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in Japan, Emory University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, published novel findings yesterday in Nature Medicine on two major groups of genes associated  with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia and unraveled a novel microRNA, miR-203, as a master regulator of neuronal death. In human cell cultures containing AD-associated mutations, the researchers showed that certain experimental drugs altered the loss of brain cells associated with neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Swarup says, “I’m hopeful these important findings will bring us one step closer to effective new treatments…

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Dr. Blurton-Jones awarded grant to identify potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

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UCI MIND faculty member Dr. Mathew Blurton-Jones was awarded a $500,000 grant from Orange County Community Foundation to test 1200+ FDA-approved compounds for effectiveness in Alzheimer’s disease treatment. His lab seeks to find the top 20 genes and drugs that safely prevent brain damage caused by microglia, which are critical immune cells in the brain that ‘prune’ unnecessary neuronal connections, or synapses. In the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, damage can be caused by microglia ‘overpruning’ synapses, leading to loss of necessary connections. UCI News reports that Dr. Blurton-Jones and his team are “grateful to be the recipients of this…

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UCI MIND selected as Center of Excellence to conduct clinical trials in Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease

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UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Ira Lott, is one of the world’s leading experts in unraveling the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease (Learn more in the Winter 2016 issue of MIND Matters). His team has been selected as a Center of Excellence for the new Down Syndrome Clinical Trial Network (DS-CTN) launched by LuMIND, a Down syndrome research foundation. As part of this important network, Dr. Lott and his team will receive funding to conduct clinical trials of promising therapies for participants with Down syndrome, at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about the initiative and the…

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Dr. Joshua Grill discusses A4 Study results in Alzforum

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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 > 

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Orange Coast Magazine calls upcoming conference a “Can’t-Miss” health event in OC

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Orange Coast Magazine​ just named our upcoming research conference in the “20 Can’t-Miss Health Events in O.C. To Keep You Healthy!” Don’t miss your chance to attend Trials Today, Treatments Tomorrow, Sept. 21 at the Irvine Marriott​. Tickets: http://bit.ly/alzconference or call 949.757.3720 x 3733. “Alzheimer’s affects more than 84,000 people in Orange County. This conference, hosted by the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) and Alzheimer’s Orange County, will bring world-renowned experts to Irvine to discuss progress in the battle against Alzheimer’s.” — Orange Coast Magazine  

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UCI MIND needs volunteers for clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease

By Carousel Slider, In the News

UCI MIND Director Dr. Joshua Grill wrote an article for the Daily Pilot about the need for Alzheimer’s clinical trial research participants in Orange County. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article > “Here in Orange County, we are home to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND). And we are making progress. There will be one essential key to needed advances, however. You. We need more people to participate in research, especially clinical trials of promising treatments. Clinical trial participants in Alzheimer’s research, much like…

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Dr. Joshua Grill on Mild Cognitive Impairment

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UCI MIND Director, Dr. Joshua Grill, recently discussed Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) with Being Patient, a news site building single-subject platforms around complex health topics. Click here to read the article and learn: Is MCI reversible? Is MCI a precursor to Alzheimer’s? How soon will MCI progress to Alzheimer’s? What are the warning signs of MCI? Will I recognize my own MCI? What can I do to delay MCI? UCI MIND has a number of research studies currently enrolling people with MCI or memory concerns.  To learn about studies for which you may be eligible, enroll in the UCI C2C Registry…

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