In This Issue:
- 2021 Turken Research Award and Symposium
- 2021 Clinical Trial on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) Conference
- New Additions to the Easton Center
- Clinical Trials
- Upcoming Events
The Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA has very active teams working on basic research, drug discovery, biomarkers for early diagnosis and clinical activity including clinical trials, cognitive testing, and patient care.
2021 Turken Research Award and Symposium
What is the future for precision medicine approaches in Alzheimer’s disease? What are major barriers to receiving equitable health care and access to research opportunities in underserved communities, and how can we address them? How are brain autopsy samples utilized in research? These are just some of the exciting topics covered in the annual Turken Research Award Event, held by webinar in November 2021. We had lively program and discussion with UCLA clinicians and scientist presenting on a broad range of topics in Alzheimer’s research. An audience of 83 faculty, staff, and colleagues attended the event, which included four featured speakers and 26 poster presenters.
Mirella Díaz-Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor in Neurology and 2020 Turken Research
Award recipient, led off the event presenting an update on her research project, “By the Community with the Community: Ending Exclusionary Research in Latino/a/x Alzheimer’s Disease.” Between 2008 to 2030, the U.S. Hispanic/Latinx population aged 65 years and older will increase by 224% compared to a 65% increase for non-Latinx whites1. However, Hispanic/Latinx communities are not equitably represented in Alzheimer’s clinical research, making up only 1% of research participants in clinical trials and 7.5% of participants in Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers. Dr. Díaz-Santos leads the Easton Center’s Equity for Latinx-Hispanic Healthy Aging (ELHA) lab, which is addressing barriers to research participation in Hispanic/Latinx communities. She is developing an English-Spanish bilingual educational program on Latinx aging, brain health, and dementia; developing and validating a clinician fact sheet for primary care/family medicine to improve dementia recognition and diagnosis in primary care settings; and creating a short Spanish neuropsychological tool sensitive to detect Alzheimer’s disease. We also learned about new efforts by the National Institute on Aging to diversify Alzheimer’s disease research, which included a new online tool, Outreach Pro2, to help researchers and clinicians increase awareness and participation in clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, especially among traditionally underrepresented communities.
The 2021 Turken Research Award Recipient, Shino Magaki, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuropathology, delivered an outstanding talk titled, “Neuropathology Core – Easton Center Brain Bank: Latest Advances in