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Is Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease a Business Product?

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, UCI MIND

The LA Times recently published a fairly negative appraisal of the construct of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The article described the recent effort by an international committee to update diagnostic criteria that date back to 1984, updated in 2011 and again in 2018. The most recent updates have been presented at meetings and published online and have indeed been the source of debate and disagreement in the field. But the LA Times article goes quite a bit further, essentially asking if one particular aspect of the criteria—the definition of preclinical AD—exists mainly to benefit pharmaceutical and medical testing companies. So…

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Biogen terminates phase 4 efficacy study of aducanumab

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

Biogen, the maker of aducanumab has announced that it will terminate the Phase 4 trial required by the FDA for aducanumab, the monoclonal antibody against beta amyloid that received accelerated approval in 2021. The company is also halting production of the compound and relinquishing ownership rights to the original developer, Neurimmune. Accelerated approval was based on the demonstration in multiple studies that treatment with aducanumab could lower brain amyloid in people with Alzheimer’s disease. But two Phase 3 trials gave contrasting results about aducanumab’s efficacy, preventing the FDA from granting full clinical approval for the medication. A requirement of accelerated…

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New Alzheimer’s drugs bring hope. But not equally for all patients.

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

The medications have not been widely tested in Black people with the disease, underscoring stark — and persistent — disparities ABINGTON, Pa. — Wrapped in a purple blanket, Robert Williford settles into a quiet corner of a bustling neurology clinic, an IV line delivering a colorless liquid into his left arm. The 67-year-old, who has early Alzheimer’s disease, is getting his initial dose of Leqembi. The drug is the first to clearly slow the fatal neurodegenerative ailment that afflicts 6.7 million older Americans, though the benefits may be modest. The retired social worker, one of the first African Americans to receive the…

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Studies on negative impacts of sleep deprivation continue to sleep on Blacks

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, UCI MIND

Black people know intrinsically about the myriad of life areas negatively impacted by the fact that the myth of white supremacy is baked into the foundations of all American institutions. But one area that doesn’t get enough attention is how racism robs Blacks of one of nature’s most powerful healing agents – sleep. Blacks have disproportionately higher rates of sleep disorders (sleep apnea, insomnia, more light and less deep sleep, delayed onset, more daytime sleepiness, and shorter sleep duration) compared to any other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. These disparities are compounded by the fact that they contribute…

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Sound waves get Alzheimer’s drug past brain barrier, small study shows

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

In the first study of its kind in humans, researchers have discovered that it is safe to use sound waves fired into specific areas of the brain to open a protective barrier and clear the way for Alzheimer’s medications. The study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved just three patients, but it raises hope about the long-term potential of the treatment strategy known as focused ultrasound. […] Joshua Grill, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at University of California at Irvine, called the study “biologically very exciting,” adding that the research may help scientists understand why some…

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Strategies and habits for a longer, healthier life

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

TAMPA (BLOOM) – Join us as we explore strategies—from mindful living to emerging technologies—and discover how every choice can lead to a longer and healthier life. Welcome to the science of aging, where the pursuit of health and happiness is the entire goal. […] Lifestyle Habits for Longevity Avoiding Harmful Substances In the pursuit of a longer, healthier life, steering clear of harmful substances is an obvious decision. Dr. Claudia Kawas, a distinguished neurologist at the University of California, Irvine, sounds the alarm on two major culprits: smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Smoking, known for its detrimental effects on respiratory health,…

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UCI MIND director’s research on differences in trial eligibility by race and ethnicity is featured in Neurology Today

By Carousel Slider, UCI MIND

UCI MIND Director, Dr. Joshua Grill, is quoted in Neurology Today for his work with colleagues at USC, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Eisai on racial and ethnic disparities in eligibility for Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. To read the article, click here.

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Celebrating What’s Right With Aging: Inside the Minds of Super Agers

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

Some people in their 80s and 90s show shockingly little decline in their brainpower. Scientists are beginning to understand what makes them different and how the rest of us might benefit You can find Vernon Smith hard at work at his computer by 7:30 each morning, cranking out 10 solid hours of writing and researching every day. His job is incredibly demanding — he is currently on the faculty of both the business and law schools at Chapman University. But the hard work pays off: Smith’s research is consistently ranked as the most-cited work produced at the school — a…

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Researchers testing out drug for Alzheimer’s prevention

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

More than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and the CDC expects that number to double in the next three decades. The first drug fully approved by the FDA for Alzheimer’s has been on the market for 10 months. Now, researchers are looking at testing it to prevent Alzheimer’s. A shot that could one day prevent Alzheimer’s disease — that’s the potential future for lecanemab, or Leqembi. […] Researchers are studying to see if the drug can prevent the disease. “We hope [to] make breakthroughs in discoveries that change our ability to help people in their lives, prevent them from getting…

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More good news from CMS

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

On Friday October 13, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a formal change to their coverage policy for amyloid PET imaging. Previously, with limited exceptions, patients were required to be enrolled in a clinical study known as “Coverage with Evidence Determination” for the scan to be reimbursed. Now, that requirement has been removed and the door has been opened for more patients to get the scan and result in savings of thousands of dollars for patients and their families. In fact, patients may have the opportunity to receive multiple covered scans as part of their routine care…

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How Old is Too Old to Govern?

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

Most Americans favor an age limit for the president and other politicians. But some ethicists and scientists argue that’s ageist and scientifically unsound. Barring a considerable shift in the political winds, the next US president will be either 82 or 78 years old on Inauguration Day. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who twice froze in front of cameras and was unable to speak for several agonizing moments, is 81. His Democratic counterpart, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, is a comparative spring chicken at 72. Senator Dianne Feinstein died last month at age 90, after months of frequent absences from the chamber…

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The Secret to Living to 100? It’s Not Good Habits

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

Neurologist [and professor] Dr. Claudia Kawas has been tracking the habits of the “oldest old,” those older than 90, in Southern California since 2003, as part of a study at the University of California, Irvine. She and a team of researchers have found links between longevity and even short amounts of exercise, social activities such as going to church, and modest caffeine and alcohol intake. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/news/wsj]

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Hispanic Americans are at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, research shows

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

Hispanic people are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Nearly 7 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible and devastating form of dementia that gradually breaks down memory and thinking skills. But not everyone is equally at risk. Hispanic people are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than white people, according to data from the Alzheimer’s Association. “Our America: Unforgettable” is an hour-long special produced by ABC Owned Television Stations in partnership with ABC News that takes a look at the alarming data of Alzheimer’s disease through a Hispanic and Latino lens. It’s important for groups at higher risk…

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UCI Summer Institute Trains Undergraduates in Biostatistics and Data Science

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

This summer, UC Irvine was again one of only 10 universities in the U.S. to host a free six-week program to train undergraduate students in the fundamentals of biostatistics, data science and computing. For the second year in a row, the Irvine Summer Institute in Biostatistics and Undergraduate Data Science (ISI-BUDS) brought students to UCI from across the nation and, as part of the training, offered hands-on experience conducting cutting-edge biomedical research. […] The ISI-BUDS Program Of the more than 150 applicants, 15 students were selected for the highly competitive program, which includes up to $500 in travel expenses, free…

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OC Racism: Bad for Brain Health

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

Whatever keeps the community up at night – or makes them pull the covers over their head to not face the day – probably won’t surface for years to come, but Dr. Karen Lincoln sees where it starts in the early stages through brain imaging. In and of itself, she said it’s not so much about sleep, but rather why advanced aging disproportionately impacts the Black community. Two of her landmark studies, Sleep Tight and Express Yourself, show how and why everyday discrimination and microaggressions are taking a dramatic toll on health. Earlier this year, Dr. Lincoln joined UCI faculty…

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Dianne Feinstein’s cause of death hasn’t been disclosed, but it likely wasn’t dementia

By Carousel Slider, In the News, UCI MIND

No cause of death has been disclosed for Dianne Feinstein, the longtime California senator who struggled with evident health problems in her final years before her death Friday. She was absent from the U.S. Senate for nearly three months earlier this year while recovering from a case of shingles that led to encephalitis, a rare complication that causes inflammation and swelling in the brain. She was briefly hospitalized in August after falling at her home and was often seen in a wheelchair in public. Indications that Feinstein, 90, was struggling with memory problems have persisted for years, even before the acknowledged health crises in the last year of her…

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