Today, UCI announced a transformative gift of $200 million to create the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences (press release). The gift is the largest in the history of the university and will launch and will launch a major integrative health initiative that will ultimately benefit all members of the Orange County community and the world. You may be wondering what is integrative medicine? In the simplest terms, it is an approach that focuses healthcare on the whole person and the whole community, using scientific evidence to prevent and treat disease. Considerable weight is given to lifestyle (diet, exercise, environment, behavior) to promote optimal health and wellness.
At this point, you may be asking what does this have to do with Alzheimer’s disease? Integrative health will be absolutely essential for preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. I am sometimes fond of saying that neuroscientists occasionally forget that the brain is connected to the rest of the body. For most of us, a healthy brain requires a healthy body which requires a healthy world. There is intensive research underway at UCI MIND to rigorously investigate the impact of lifestyle on the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. And I look forward to the exciting opportunities this gift will bring to researchers across the health sciences at UCI.