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Uab Alzheimer’s Disease Center

Finding New Causes And Markers Of Alzheimers With Genomics

UAB Memory Disorders Clinic

Nicholas Cochran, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Richard Myers, PhD, president, science director and faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha. Cochran investigates the genetic risk factors or causes of neurological diseases. He earned his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in September 2015 and joined the Myers Lab at HudsonAlpha in early 2016.

Uab Named Exploratory Alzheimers Disease Research Center By Nih

Erik Roberson, M.D., Ph.D. director of the UAB Alzheimer’s Disease Research CenterThe National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, has named the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an exploratory Alzheimers Disease Research Center. The UAB exploratory ADRC will join the network of 31 ADRCs in 21 states, and is the only exploratory ADRC in the four-state region of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana.

ADRCs are located at major medical institutions across the United States. Researchers at these centers work to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimers disease and related dementias, as well as to find ways to treat and possibly prevent these diseases. They also contribute substantially to major national neurodegenerative disease research initiatives.

The establishment of an exploratory ADRC at UAB is an extremely important step in managing this debilitating disease, said Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the UAB School of Medicine. People born in the Deep South have a higher risk for Alzheimers disease, and African Americans have a particularly high risk, due in part to the prevalence of diseases that contribute to dementia, such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The center is funded by grant number P20AG068024. NIA media contact: Joe Balintfy, 301-496-1752 or .

Uab Study Targets Gene Associated With Alzheimers Disease

The neurons in this image are stained blue, indicating the presence of the BIN1 protein. Points of direct interaction between BIN1 and calcium channels are in purple.Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are on the track of a gene that might play a role in the development of Alzheimers disease. The research team is studying a gene called BIN1, which was first linked to Alzheimers disease in 2009.

In a paper recently published online in eLife, the team shows that BIN1 helps to regulate the activity of neurons. This may be significant, as too much neuronal activity, known as hyperexcitability, is associated with Alzheimers disease. BIN1 becomes the first gene to be linked to hyperexcitability as a driver of Alzheimers disease.

BIN1 was identified as a risk factor for Alzheimers following large scale studies called genome wide association studies, which looked at the genomes of thousands of people with and without Alzheimers disease.

These genetic studies showed that variants of BIN1 were present in many of the study participants who had Alzheimers, said Erik Roberson, M.D., Ph.D., the Rebecca Gale Professor in the Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, and lead author of the study. The problem was that nobody had a clear idea what BIN1 does in the brain.

Prior studies had linked BIN1 to the Tau protein, which has long been associated with Alzheimers as one of the hallmarks of the disease.

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How Alzheimers Disease Research Centers Advance Research

ADRCs conduct research spanning from the causes of and risk factors for Alzheimers and related dementias to potential treatments to managing symptoms and helping families cope. Following are highlights of center activities:

Much of the important progress in Alzheimers research in the United States during the past 35 years stems from research conducted at or with the help of resources provided by the ADRCs. For example, center researchers have:

  • Conducted a significant amount of the research on the processes behind amyloid plaque and tau tangle formation in the brain, which are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Characterized abnormal proteins associated with several different neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Evaluated cognitive changes associated with normal aging and the transitions from early difficulties thinking and remembering to dementia.
  • Identified factors that contribute to changes in cognitive abilities, such as social and physical activity.
  • Related changes in brain structure to the clinical stages of Alzheimer’s using information gathered from participants during cognitive tests and assessments, brain imaging scans, and autopsies of donated brains.

Uab Receives $100000 Grant To Study Cognitive Effects Of Covid

UAB

UAB School of Nursing Associate Professor Pariya Wheeler has been awarded a two-year, $100,000 grant to study the neuropsychological impact of COVID-19 in older adults.

It is one of UABs first grants examining the cognitive effects of COVID-19 and one of eight awards from the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the Alzheimers Association.

Wheelers study will recruit 100 adults age 65 and older who had COVID-19. Over the course of a year, Wheeler will collect data on neurocognitive functions, blood biomarkers and symptoms of acute COVID-19. Data from the UAB Alzheimers Disease Center will be a control comparison group.

Given the COVID-19 disparities and burden in the South, our cohort of older adults with COVID-19 from which to recruit is large and racially diverse, Wheeler said. This study will enroll 50% Black participants. The research infrastructure to conduct this study at UAB is also exceptional, including the ability to leverage the UAB Alzheimers Disease Center for a comparison cohort. I believe these factors helped set my research apart, leading to the receipt of this grant.

NAN and the Alzheimers Association partnered to provide $800,000 to build a greater understanding of how the pandemic has impacted populations that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 but are underrepresented in research.

Wheelers study is in collaboration with the UAB NeuroCOVID Group, a collaborative working group that formed in March 2020.

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Alzheimers Disease Research Centers: National Research Centers Local Resources

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The Alzheimers Disease Research Centers offer local resources, support, and opportunities to participate in research on Alzheimers disease and related dementias. These centers are dedicated to developing and testing new ways to detect, diagnose, treat, and prevent dementia and to improving care for people with these diseases and their families. The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health funds more than 30 ADRCs at medical institutions across the country. Each center has specific scientific and population areas of focus.

A common goal of the centers’ network is to enhance research by sharing new ideas and results among the centers. By working collaboratively, the ADRCs have produced research findings and resources that have made significant contributions to addressing Alzheimers and related dementias.

For families affected by Alzheimers and related dementias, ADRCs offer:

  • Help with obtaining diagnosis and managing your care
  • Information about the diseases, services, and resources
  • Opportunities for volunteers to participate in clinical trials and studies that contribute to improved understanding of dementia, which may lead to new treatments and better care
  • Support groups and other special programs for volunteers and their families

From Molecules To Minds: Understanding Dementia Based On Neuroscience

Dr. Richard Powers is a psychiatrist and neuropathologist who received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky in 1976. He served for three years in the United States Army as a Squadron Surgeon and Clinic Director. He completed an Anatomical Pathology Residency at the University of Kentucky. He completed a psychiatry residency and neuropathology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He practiced psychiatry and neuropathology at the University Of Alabama School Of Medicine where he held the rank of Professor prior to retirement in 2011. While at UAB, Dr. Powers also served as the Medical Director for the Alabama Department of Mental Health and assisted with creating the geriatric mental health system for the state of Alabama as well as providing psychiatric services to persons with intellectual disability. He has subsequently practiced within the Veterans Administration Health Care system as an Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care as well as in the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic caring for veterans with PTSD. He continues to practice at the University as an Adjunct Professor in the departments of pathology and psychiatry as well as the Medical Director for Behavioral Health for VIVA Inc.

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Corralling Negativity: Keys To Gaining Insight And Empathy

Lynda Everman has spent most of her adult life 24 years as a caregiver, first for her parents and then for her husband who was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment in 1997 and passed away from Alzheimers Disease in 2012. A retired Human Resources professional from the University of California, Lynda is determined to change the trajectory of Alzheimers disease through public policy, increased funding for biomedical research, and recruitment of volunteers for clinical trials.

Lynda is a board member of B.A.B.E.S. , a founding member of ActivistsAgainstAlzheimers, WomenAgainstAlzheimers, and has recently served as founder and convener to ClergyAgainstAlzheimers. She is an editor and contributor to Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimers and Dementia Caregivers, an interfaith volume with more than 140 original meditations from seventy religious leaders and care specialists representing seventeen faith traditions. She and her husband, Dr. Don Wendorf, have served as editors for the Leaders Guide for Seasons of Caring and Treasure for Alzheimers, both written by Dr. Richard Morgan.

Worried About Dementia New Uab Clinic Offers Personalized Risk Assessment

Dr. David Geldmacher, MD UAB Medicine Dementia Presentation

UAB’s Alzheimer’s Risk Assessment Clinic offers personalized risk assessment for dementia, and suggests ways to reduce or manage that risk.

Newswise BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Neurologist David Geldmacher, M.D., who leads the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Memory Disorders, sees many older patients with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimers disease. He also sees their caregivers, who often are spouses or adult children.

I recognized the need for a dementia risk-assessment clinic because a lot of my time in the care of people with memory loss is spent advising people without memory loss how to protect themselves, Geldmacher said.

Building on international studies that examined risk factors for dementia, Geldmacher created the UAB Alzheimers Risk Assessment and Intervention Clinic, the first such clinical service in the nation. Patients receive a detailed, personalized risk assessment, which includes family history, a detailed memory history for the patient, cognitive testing and a baseline MRI scan. That information is incorporated into existing risk-predictor models, which have been validated by research studies that followed thousands of patients for as many as 20 years to produce an accurate risk assessment.

Geldmacher says the studies have shown that reducing one or more risk factors can have a significant effect on reducing ones overall chances of developing Alzheimers disease.

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Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers

The National Institute on Aging funds 33 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers at major medical institutions across the United States. Researchers at these Centers are working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as working to find a treatment or way to prevent Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. In addition, NIA funds four Exploratory ADRCs that are designed to expand and diversify research and education opportunities to new areas of the country, new populations, and new areas of science and approaches to research.

For people and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the ADRCs offer:

  • Help with obtaining diagnosis and medical management
  • Information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias, services, and resources
  • Opportunities for volunteers to participate in clinical trials and studies and research registries
  • Support groups and other special programs for volunteers and their families

Alzheimers In Alabama Annual Conference Tuesday October 17 2017

ACAs Annual Conference for Caregivers8:30 to 4:30

Breakfast sponsored by Brookdale University Park

Lunch sponsored by Bradford and Holliman

Vendor Sponsors

  • Senior Care Program Brookwood
  • Kirkwood by the River

Home Instead Senior Care is an approved provider of continuing education programs of the Alabama Board of Nursing, ABNP 1441 Exp. 9/3/18 and of the Alabama Board of Social Work Examiners, 0431, Exp. 9/30/18. This program will offer 7.5 nursing credits and 6.25 social worker credits. 6.5 hours for assisted living administrators 6.0 hours may be applied toward the Category II requirement for cognitive impairment education. 6.0 hours for nursing home administrators

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Preventing And Treating Cognitive Decline: A Different Approach

Dr. Kristine Lokken is a functional neuropsychologist with a passion for helping people restore brain health. Her extensive background in clinical research, medical neuropsychology, and holistic wellness merged together to co-found the Brain Health Institute in Birmingham, AL. In addition to her work at BHI, she is currently the Director of the Rehabilitation Neuropsychology Service at the Birmingham VA Medical Center and serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UAB. She has maintained a private practice for over 15 years, and has seen thousands of patients with varying neurological and psychological issues in her clinical work.

Dr. Lokken received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Dakota. She specialized in Neuropsychology and completed neuropsychology residency training at Rush Presbyterian St Lukes Medical Center in Chicago, IL. She began her career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, prior to conducting research and clinical care at UAB. Dr. Lokken has published several articles in peer reviewed journals and has lectured extensively on brain health.

Alzheimers Research Report: The Latest From Uab On Treatment Care And Cure

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David S. Geldmacher, MD, FACP, is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Division of Memory Disorders and Behavioral Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he has been named the first Warren Family Endowed Chair in Neurology. He serves as Medical Director for Neurology at the University of Alabama Hospital.

His research has centered on developing new dementia treatments, and ways of measuring the success of treatments. His other research interests include complex visual processing in aging and neurological conditions. Dr. Geldmacher is the author of Contemporary Diagnosis and Management of Alzheimers Dementia, and has published over 100 research articles, chapters, abstracts and reviews.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Neurological Association, as well as a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Geldmacher graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester with his BA in Biology and Psychology. He obtained his MD from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse. He trained in Neurology at Case Western Reserve University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Neurology at the University of Florida.

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The History Of Alzheimers Disease Research Centers

Congress authorized the establishment of the first centers, known then as Alzheimers Disease Centers, through NIH funding in the mid-1980s. Over the years, the centers’ program has expanded to support the nations increased efforts to address Alzheimers and related dementias.

The main objectives of the ADRCs program are to:

  • Conduct cutting-edge basic, clinical, and translational research and provide resources and infrastructure to support national and international goals in Alzheimers and dementia research
  • Train the next generation of researchers in an environment that supports interactions across scientific disciplines
  • Provide information to the public about research findings, access to support services, and opportunities to participate in research

Crisis Points In Managing Dementia Care

Christy Baynes, MSHA, MBA, CMC, President and Lead Geriatric Care Manager, LifeCare for Seniors, LLC

Nicole Crawford, Assistant Administrator/Unit Coordinator-Evergreen Memory Care, St. Martins in the Pines Assisted Living

Lemeshia Agee Chambers, MSW, Community Relations Coordinator, Brookwood Baptist Health, Princeton Baptist Medical Center-Senior Care

Sherri Friday, Jefferson County Probate Judge

Stephanie Sansing, Community Educator, Affinity Hospice

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Driven To Overcome Alzheimer’s Disease And Related Disorders

The mission of the UAB Alzheimer’s Disease Center is to overcome Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders by conducting, fostering, and enabling research at UAB and through national collaborations, by providing the highest level of care to patients and families, and by educating both professionals and the public about aging, dementia, and brain health.

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Study points to a potential immediate treatment for this devastating disease

University of Alabama at Birmingham

image: This is Qin Wang.view more

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In preclinical experiments, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have revealed a key missing piece of the Alzheimer’s disease puzzle. That allowed proof-of-concept experiments — using an existing drug — that dramatically reduced Alzheimer’s pathology and symptoms in two mouse models, potentially offering an immediate treatment for this devastating disease.

The research was published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine. It included human brain tissue analysis and longitudinal clinical data that supported the in vivo mouse model data.

“Our study provides translational insights into mechanisms underlying amyloid-beta protein toxicity, which may have strong implications for future drug design,” said Qin Wang, M.D., Ph.D. “It identifies an amyloid-beta/G protein-coupled receptor interaction that represents an attractive, disease-specific therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Interestingly, the pathologic mechanism found may also explain the failure of numerous Alzheimer’s clinical trials that targeted reduction of the culprit in Alzheimer’s disease — amyloid protein buildup in the brain.

At the UAB School of Medicine, Wang is professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology.

Study details

Journal

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Fda Approves New Drug For Alzheimers Disease In Nearly Two Decades

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -The Food and Drug Administration approved the first new drug for Alzheimers Disease in nearly 20 years.

The drug marketed under the name Aduhelm got the green light from the FDA. The drug is intended to slow the progression of Alzheimers disease in patients with mild or early forms of it.

Doctors say prior treatments, treat the symptoms of the illness. But this is the first of the treatments that is believed to slow down the progression and remove some of the abnormal chemical accumulation in the brain, Dr. David Geldmacher with UAB said.

Dr. Geldmacher is a professor of neurology at UAB and director of the universitys Alzheimers Disease Center. For the past five years, UAB has been involved in clinical trials of the new drug. This process hasnt come without controversy though. There have been several mixed votes at the FDA between internal and external advisors questioning the effectiveness of the drug.

But the FDAs director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research says the data supports patients and caregivers having the choice to use this drug.

It will take several months for the drug to become available for more patients.

Geldmacher says one of the next critical steps will be if and when Medicare and other insurers approve the payment for this medication. Some feel it may be too expensive.

The FDA approved the drug on a conditional basis saying BioGen will need to conduct follow-up study to confirm benefits for patients.

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