UCI MIND, the University of California, Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, Orange County’s only state and federally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), has been awarded a $423,600 grant from the Henry L. Guenther Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase cutting-edge imaging equipment that will enable novel research into changes in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
“The generous funds provided by the Guenther Foundation grant will enable us to take a unique approach to imaging the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” says Craig Stark, PhD., Lead Researcher and Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at UCI. “There is growing evidence that metabolic processes in the brain are a key factor in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease and this grant will allow us to further our research in this area.”
According to Stark, traditional MRIs do not provide significant information into metabolism, which means these metabolic processes in humans can be tricky to study. The grant from the Guenther Foundation will allow UCI MIND to build specially-designed hardware for UCI’s MRI scanners that will measure several metabolic pathways in both humans and animal models.
“By letting the scanners image carbon and phosphorus, instead of just hydrogen, we can get a clear picture of these pathways to better understand how metabolism is altered in the brain afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, and, eventually, to test the efficacy of treatments,” says Stark.
“More than 80,000 Orange County residents are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and those numbers are expected to increase, making the ongoing work of UCI MIND critically important,” says Dr. Joshua Grill, Director of UCI MIND. “We are extremely grateful for this generous support from the Guenther Foundation, which will provide us the opportunity to expand our research in ways that were previously not possible.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the third leading cause of death in Orange County. Current predictions suggest that more than 16 million Americans will suffer from the disease by 2050. Scientists at UCI MIND are working from a cross-disciplinary perspective to find a prevention or cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
About the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND)
The UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) is internationally recognized for its research accomplishments in disorders of the
brain, particularly those that are age-related. UCI MIND is the University’s center for aging and dementia research, with its faculty seeking to understand the causes leading to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, and Huntington’s disease. For those suffering from age-related memory problems, its goal is to develop improved means for effective diagnosis and treatment and to provide help to families and caregivers.
UCI MIND is home to one of 32 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers funded by the National Institute on Aging and one of 10 California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers funded by the California Department of Public Health. For more information on how people can help, please visit: https://www.mind.uci.edu/research-studies/c2c-registry/
This article was a courtesy release.
Logos for UCI Mind and Anteater mascot courtesy of the University of California, Irvine.