Commentary on anti-inflammatories for Alzheimer’s prevention

By | Commentary, In the News, UCI MIND

Contributed by Andrea J. Tenner, PhD Researchers at McGill University recently published results from a clinical trial of the common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), naproxen, showing that it was ineffective at preventing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in cognitively unimpaired people with a family history (Press release >). I am not surprised by this result, as naproxen is a nonselective inhibitor of inflammatory mediators.  Dr. Breitner, the lead investigator on the manuscript, is an excellent physician scientist.  The study authors indicated that the results do not rule out a benefit from mid-life anti-inflammatory drugs, and that the study turned out to have…

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

By | Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News, UCI MIND

Yesterday, The Atlantic published a story on an extremely rare situation: a boy born without microglia. Microglia, which differ from neurons, typically make up 10% of the brain’s cells. They have been known to aid in immune response and in clearing dead cells from the brain. While animal models had previously tested what it would mean to lack microglia, doctors had never before seen this case in a human. UCI MIND researcher Kim Green, PhD, commented on a rare genetic case: Kim Green, a neurobiologist at the University of California at Irvine, notes that mutant mice lacking microglia have broadly…

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Big IDEAS May Improve Clinical Management of Dementia

By | Commentary, In the News, UCI MIND

Contributed by S. Ahmad Sajjadi, MD, PhD, Neurologist Last week, the results of a very important and highly anticipated study, the IDEAS (Imaging Dementia – Evidence For Amyloid Scanning) study, were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This national multi-center study, including UC Irvine, enrolled more than 11,000 Medicare beneficiaries with cognitive impairment to undergo a special type of scan called amyloid positron emission tomography (PET). Amyloid PET scan provides the opportunity to visualize the accumulation of abnormal amyloid plaques on the brain. Amyloid and tau proteins are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study…

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Dr. Joshua Grill Discusses ‘Pseudomedicine’ with AARP

By | Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News, UCI MIND

AARP recently reached out to UCI MIND Director Joshua Grill, PhD to comment on the rise of dementia pseudomedicine – “misleading but scientific-sounding marketing.” Dr. Grill notes that believing in pseudomedicine may keep people from receiving the evidence-based care they need, or the opportunity to enroll in a promising clinical trial. “A common situation is an older adult becoming concerned about their memory and taking a supplement to try to ward off dementia…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…

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Commentary on the link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s

By | Commentary, In the News, UCI MIND

Contributed by Christian Salazar, PhD, Project Scientist The link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease has received considerable attention over the past few years. The recent laboratory findings in mice from Potempa and colleagues are consistent with evidence from mostly cross-sectional observational studies in humans that suggest an association between the two diseases. However, as the article notes, we are still far from establishing a cause-and-effect relationship in humans. Not only is there difficulty in translating findings from mice to humans, but cross-sectional studies that collect data at one point in time can have many methodological limitations. For example, poor…

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Is Alzheimer’s an immune disorder?

By | Community Events, UCI MIND

Tune in this Friday, April 5 @ 9AM for the next episode of our monthly Facebook LIVE series, “Is Alzheimer’s an immune disorder?” This month, we’re joined by Andrea Tenner, PhD. Dr. Tenner earned her PhD from UC San Diego and is an esteemed Professor in the UC Irvine School of Medicine and the School of Biological Sciences. Throughout her career, Dr. Tenner has received numerous academic awards and has published over 100 scientific journal articles. Dr. Tenner’s research examines the role of inflammation and how our body’s immune system responds to Alzheimer’s disease – and using this knowledge, her team…

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UCI Health supports Donate Life month

By | UCI Health

April is National Donate Life Awareness Month and UCI wants to remind people that organ donation saves lives. More than 114,000 people in the U.S. wait for lifesaving organ transplants.

According to Donate Life America, 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not available. Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the national transplant waiting list. 

However, even though the need is great, there are many misconceptions surrounding the subject.

“Some people are hesitant because of negative connotations surrounding organ donation that are simply not true,” said Dr. Cristobal Barrios, a UCI Health surgeon who specializes in trauma and critical care. “End of life issues are near and dear to me because so many could people be helped if they had accurate information about donation.” 

Common misconceptions include:

  • Physicians are waiting for loved ones to die so they can recover organs
  • Religious objections
  • Loved ones feel pain and/or are still alive when organs are recovered
  • Loved ones could still survive or pull through

OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally-designated organ recovery organization, works with hospital systems like UCI Heath to support families who make the decision to honor their loved ones by donating life-saving and healing organs and tissues for those in need.  

Barrios said this decision sometimes provides these donor families with a sense of purpose and comfort.

“We approach organ donation very seriously at UCI Health. The patient is treated respectfully during their entire journey, even after death,” said Barrios, associate clinical professor in the UCI School of Medicine. “Family members are not pressured, and are given time to make decisions surrounding their loved ones death. Spiritual care is also offered.”

Facts about organ donation:

  • Representatives from OneLegacy, not surgeons, work with families to discuss donation decisions
  • Physicians must follow a formal process to recover organs – they are not waiting for patients to die
  • Most religious groups support organ and tissue donation
  • Deceased donors do not feel any pain during organ recovery

The donation process does not begin until every attempt has been made to save a patient’s life. Additionally, a patient must be declared legally dead before proceed with donation. 

“Early in my career, I worked in a hospice center and dealt with end of life issues every day. It is a difficult thing to deal with,” said Barrios. “However, the truth is that when you choose to donate organs after death, real hope and something positive can come out of tragedy.” 

According to OneLegacy, one organ eye and tissue donor can save and heal more than 75 people. 

  • Organ donation could save up 8 lives. 
  • Cornea donation could give sight to 2 people
  • Tissue donation could heal up to 75 people. 

UCI Health comprises the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. The 417-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.“>

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