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Overview

Dementia can be caused by a number of different conditions; it is a symptom of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, frontotemporal dementia or corticobasal degeneration. The term "dementia" describes a progressive, degenerative decline in cognitive function that gradually destroys memory and the ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. While it often includes memory loss, memory loss by itself does not mean that a person has dementia. Dementia affects 17–25 million people worldwide.

Dementia is not a specific disease; it is a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of disorders, including neurodegenerative disease. The term "dementia" describes a progressive decline in memory or other cognitive functions that interferes in the ability to perform your usual daily activities (driving, shopping, balancing a checkbook, working, communicating, etc.). The deterioration is more than might be expected from normal aging and is due to damage or disease.

Marian Tse

Research Coordinator

Marian Tse joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2006 as a clinical research coordinator. Her primary role is administering cognitive tests to Chinese patients at different outreach sites and in the MAC clinic. Prior to joining the MAC, she worked for various research labs at UCSF.

In her free time, Marian enjoys hiking, cooking and singing.

謝譚敏兒
臨床實驗研究員

謝女士於二零零六年加入記憶力研究及治療中心,擔任臨床實驗研究員一職 。其主要職責是替華裔病人作記憶力測試;並將評估結果呈交本中心之神經專科医生作綜合評估病症之用 。與此同時,她更負責為病人、家屬或看顧者作即時傳譯,使我們的專科医生能對病人之病徵作深入了解。她是本中心與各外展診所 及病人之聯絡橋樑。工餘之時,謝女士喜歡遠足,烹飪及唱歌。

Trishna Subas

Research Coordinator

Trishna Subas graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. Prior to coming to the Memory and Aging Center, she worked in the Berkeley Psychophysiology Lab investigating dementia and its connection to emotional functioning, and on a variety of projects regarding emotion and social interaction. She also worked at the Mills Lab, on a study which has followed a cohort of women from 1958 to the present.

Trishna joined the Memory and Aging Center in July 2010. Her primary role is managing the New Approaches to Dementia Heterogeneity grant, which follows patients with the goal of learning more about dementia to improve early detection and clinical care for patients. Additionally, she conducts cognitive testing with patients and assists in the validation of new diagnostic criteria for dementia.

Kristine Yaffe, MD

Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology

Dr. Yaffe received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed residency training in both neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She then completed a fellowship in Clinical Epidemiology and Geriatric Psychiatry also at UCSF.

Dr. Yaffe is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology at UCSF. She is also Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. In both her research and in her clinical work, she has directed her efforts towards improving the care of patients with cognitive disorders and other geriatric neuropsychiatric conditions.

Dr. Yaffe’s research has focused on the predictors of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. She is particularly interested in identifying novel strategies to prevent cognitive decline. One of her research focuses is examining how estrogen and other hormones influence cognitive function. Dr. Yaffe is also focusing on multi-ethnic populations of elders in order to determine if identified predictors of cognitive decline vary amongst different ethnic groups.

Her work has been published in numerous prestigious journals including the Lancet, JAMA, and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Keith Vossel, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Keith Vossel received his MSc degree in biomedical engineering and medical degree at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. He completed medical internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital and neurology residency at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospitals, Harvard Medical School, where he served his final year as chief resident. Dr. Vossel completed behavioral neurology fellowship with Dr. Bruce Miller at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and postdoctoral training in neurodegenerative disease with Dr. Lennart Mucke at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease.

In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Vossel is working at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, where he investigates mechanisms and novel treatment approaches for neural network dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease, with focus on the tau protein and axonal transport. Dr. Vossel is leading a clinical trial at UCSF to investigate seizures and epileptic activity in neurodegenerative disease. He is a recipient of the Paul Beeson Career Development Award in Aging Research, through the National Institute on Aging and American Federation for Aging Research, and the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation Distinguished Research Scholar Award.

William Seeley, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology

Dr. Seeley attended medical school at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), where he first encountered patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in 1999, during a research elective with Dr. Bruce Miller. He then completed a neurology residency at Harvard Medical School, training at the Massachusetts General and Brigham & Women's Hospitals. Returning to UCSF for a behavioral neurology fellowship, with Dr. Miller, Dr. Seeley developed expertise in the differential diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disease. He is currently an Associate Professor of Neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where he participates in patient evaluation and management.

Dr. Seeley’s research in his Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory concerns regional vulnerability in dementia, that is, why particular dementias target specific neuronal populations. Dr. Seeley addresses this question through behavioral, functional imaging and neuropathology studies. The goal of his research is to determine what makes brain tissues susceptible or resistant to degeneration, with an eye toward ultimately translating these findings into novel treatment approaches.

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