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Posts for participants, family members, and friends actively enrolled in a research study at the UCI Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Summer 2022

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

Message from the Director Dear Friends of UCI MIND, We hope that you had a summer full of sun, fun, and good health. As you can see in this issue of MIND Matters, it has been a busy summer here at UCI MIND. Our investigators played a prominent role at the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), a focus of this issue (p 1, 3, 6, and 7). We’re very proud of our own Maria Corrada, ScD, who played a role in planning this important meeting (p 1 and 7), as well as the many researchers who presented their work….

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Laguna Woods resident endured horrors of Holocaust and got a fresh start in the U.S.

By Carousel Slider, In the News, Participants

When [Helen] Weil was in her 90s, she enrolled in the 90+ Study, a UC Irvine program initiated in 2003 to study “the oldest-old.” The program started in 1981 as the Leisure World Cohort Study, in which Leisure World residents in their 90s filled out surveys about what contributed to their longevity. … UCI researchers visit participants every six months to chart their physical health and memory functions. … Weil’s age group, 90 and above, was featured in CBS’ “60 Minutes” with Leslie Stahl, first in 2014 and again in 2020. Learn more about The 90+ Study here > Read…

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Testing effective treatments as potential preventions

By Commentary, In the News, Participants

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD Since Wednesday’s announcement by Eisai and Biogen of positive topline Phase 3 results for their treatment lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease, the field has been markedly aligned. Most agree that we need to see the data but that this seems to be a clear win and an important step in a positive direction. Some debates have begun, and more will happen, about the size and meaning of the win—that is, the size of the drug’s disease-slowing effects and the clinical meaningfulness. These debates will be extremely important but will take time. Combined with recently published…

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Spring 2022

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

Message from the Director Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Welcome to the new normal. COVID case numbers have surged again, but our research continues to push forward and our researchers have enthusiastically resumed in-person activities that have been few and far between over the last two years. This includes attending and holding scientific conferences, generally through hybrid formats, allowing those comfortable and ready to reconvene in-person to present new data, exchange ideas and forge new collaborations. Some UCI MIND investigators recently traveled to Barcelona, Spain to attend the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease and related neurological disorders…

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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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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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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Fall 2021

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

Message from the Director Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Fall is here and the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. Though we are seeing signs of improvement, life is not yet back to normal. This fall, the pandemic once again forced us to move several of our major annual activities to a virtual format (page 7) or to cancel them entirely (page 5). But it has not slowed the important work happening at UCI MIND. In this issue, you will learn about funded work from Dr. Liz Chrastil (page 4). She studies the hippocampus, a part of the brain affected…

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Summer 2021

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

Message from the Director Dear Friends of UCI MIND, The summer of 2021 brought the Tokyo Olympics of 2020. Our UCI MIND researchers continue to earn gold medals for their work in fighting Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (page 1). Gold medals also go to Virginia Naeve and Steve O’Leary for establishing a remarkable resource for caregivers, Spotlight on Care (page 4), available through UCI MINDCast. Spotlight on Care is made possible by the generous support of Stephen Hamill and his family (page 5). And our REMIND trainees were also shining stars this summer—launching a new program to inspire local…

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The problem with post-approval required studies

By Commentary, In the News, Participants

Contributed by Daniel Gillen, PhD Earlier today, the FDA granted approval of Biogen Inc’s aducanumab, to be sold under the brand name Aduhelm, to treat the underlying cause of AD.  As I wrote back in November of 2020, multiple issues in the clinical program for aducanumab make objective assessment of the clinical efficacy of the drug difficult. I was not alone as the FDA advisory committee also noted them. The first obvious issue is that the two parallel Phase 3 trials, called studies 301 and 302, that this approval is based on were discrepant in their results. Generally speaking, FDA…

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The FDA has approved aducanumab (Aduhelm™). Now what?

By Commentary, In the News, Participants

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD Today, June 7, the US Food and Drug Administration approved aducanumab, a monoclonal antibody against beta amyloid, the protein that builds up in the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. It has been more than 15 years since the last approval of an Alzheimer’s drug. Unlike the previously approved therapies, aducanumab directly targets the biological changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The data that the FDA used to decide to approve aducanumab were controversial, resulting from three clinical trials – one Phase 1B trial and two large Phase 3 trials. The controversy…

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Spring 2021

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

Message from the Director Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Spring has sprung and there is much to look forward to. COVID-19 infections remain low in Orange County. We are grateful to our colleagues from UCI Health who have done an incredible job of caring for people during the pandemic and navigating us toward an end through well-organized vaccination programs. We are planning resumption of our pre-pandemic research activities. The campus has reduced restrictions on in-person research while maintaining essential safety parameters. There is a collective sense of eagerness to “catch-up” on work delayed by the pandemic. This will include UCI…

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Winter 2021

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

Message from the Director Happy New Year, Friends of UCI MIND! For many of us, a New Year brings the promise of fresh starts and new beginnings. In 2021, it also means a welcomed good-bye to a very long 2020. Despite the challenges that 2020 brought, it also brought progress that must now continue in 2021. This includes progress in social justice, progress in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and progress in research to rid the world of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. UCI MIND is committed to contributing to further progress in each of these areas. Though the COVID-19 pandemic…

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Staying “Cognitively Fit”

By Participants

Contributed by Michelle McDonnell, PhD A common recommendation to participants at UCI MIND is to remain “physically, socially, and cognitively active.” While one can easily understand how to implement the recommendations for increased social and physical activity, it is more challenging to understand what types of cognitive activities there are and how to increase them in a meaningful way. This blog defines what we mean when we recommend increasing cognitive activity and provides some examples you can easily implement in your day-to-day life. Cognitive activity (sometimes referred to as cognitive stimulation) is defined as complex mental activity that can potentially promote…

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Holidays during COVID-19

By Commentary, COVID-19, Participants

Contributed by UCI MIND Nurse Practitioner, Catherine McAdams-Ortiz, MSN, RN, A/GNP Have you noticed the Holiday decorations popping up at shopping malls already? Yes, the Holiday Season is upon us. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all need to carefully plan our social gatherings, meals, and guests in our homes. Hopefully, you will find some helpful hints here so you can safely navigate all the Holidays you will celebrate this year.   The very best gift you can give yourself, your loved ones and your friends is to make sure you get your flu vaccine as soon as possible….

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Fall 2020

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

Message from the Director   Dear Friends of UCI MIND, As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives this fall, the fight to solve Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) must charge forward. This November, the U.S. FDA will convene an advisory committee to assess potential approval of Biogen’s aducanumab, a monoclonal antibody in development for treatment of early AD. We will watch closely as aducanumab could be the first new approved drug for AD since 2005. Regardless of the outcome of the meeting and subsequent FDA decision – anticipated in March 2021 – this represents a milestone for…

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Tips for Participating in Remote Testing Sessions for UCI Research at the UCI ADRC

By Participants

With the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures that have been in place since March 2020, unprecedented challenges have presented for everyone working in Alzheimer’s disease clinical research and clinical trials/drug development.   As many older adults are isolating themselves at home, individuals and their families are pivoting to use technology to stay connected with loved ones and one another. With common devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers with cameras, platforms for video-conferencing (i.e., Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook) become important tools for us to stay connected. Many healthcare providers have also transitioned to remote health visits, to continue to assess…

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VIDEO: UCI Panel on COVID-19: Part 2

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

The UCI Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Center, led by UCI MIND faculty member Dr. Aileen Anderson, hosted part 2 of their expert panel on the state of COVID-19 on September 1. Topics include: Introduction to SARS2-CoV/COVID-19 from Dr. Ming Tan Current status of testing for COVID-19 from UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Ed Monuki Back to school, wearing masks and public health from Dr. Dan Cooper ASCC’s convalescent plasma and trials for COVID-19 from Dr. Daniela Bota View the complete panel recording below:

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Summer 2020

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

Message from the Director   Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Summer of 2020 has been unlike any summer before. We are all struggling to adjust to life amid a global pandemic that has been upending our lives for several months. Many of us have been unable to see our loved ones, others have lost our treasured family members. At the end of this newsletter, we offer some guidance from the Centers for Disease Control for caregivers of people living with dementia. Despite COVID-19, the work of UCI MIND continues. This includes important milestones. Most notably, the NIH selected UCI MIND…

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MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Spring 2020

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

Message from the Director   Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Since writing my last message for our Winter 2020 issue, we have all had our worlds turned upside down by COVID-19. At UCI MIND, we have faced challenges and have had to temporarily adapt our research programs. But, I know these challenges pale in comparison to those faced by members of our community. I’m especially concerned about the additional challenges faced by caregivers of people living with dementia, as well as the social isolation physical distancing can bring to older people who are living alone. We are eager to help…

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