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Anna M. Karydas

Genetics and Specimens Project Manager

Anna Karydas joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2005 to support research activities investigating genetic causes of neurodegenerative diseases. She manages our laboratory specimens, genetic samples and genetic collaborations.

Brianne Bettcher, PhD

Assistant Professor

Brianne Bettcher completed her PhD degree in clinical psychology, with a concentration in neuroscience, from Temple University in 2010. She completed her internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Palo Alto VA Hospital and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF's Memory and Aging Center.

Currently, Dr. Bettcher is an Assistant Professor in Neurology and works as a neuropsychologist and neuroscience researcher at the Memory and Aging Center. Clinically, Dr. Bettcher conducts neuropsychological evaluations of a wide range of patients with neurodegenerative disease, particularly individuals with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, as well as patients presenting with autoimmune-mediated encephalopathies.

Dr. Bettcher's research focuses on the role of inflammation in cognitive decline and utilizes cognitive neuroscience techniques to understand how vascular and inflammatory risk factors may impact brain structure. Her research is funded by an NIH/NIA K23 Career Development Award to study the relationship between peripheral inflammation, cognitive functions and white matter microstructure in healthy, community dwelling older adults. Dr. Bettcher has also extended this line of work to Alzheimer's disease and examines the relationship between serological levels of inflammation, memory consolidation and molecular imaging markers of Alzheimer's pathology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Before you or your loved one join a research trial or study, your doctor should talk to you about what it's like to be in a trial and describe the pros and cons of participating. If you are interested, someone from the clinical trial staff will explain the details of the study, risks and benefits, and your rights as a participant, including your right to withdraw from the study at any point. Once all your questions have been answered, they will ask you to sign an informed consent to participate.

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial or research study is an important personal decision. The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) provide detailed information about clinical trials and were modified from the NIH Clinical Trials website, the UCSF Human Subjects Protection Program Website and the National Institute on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease website.

Dick Smith

Dick was a constant walker, and his hands shook much of the time, so getting him to do any kind of art work was always difficult. He walked in a circle around the day care, and as he came by he was handed a paint brush full of paint and asked to paint on the paper. Each time he came by, the color was changed.

I am not an artist, but I do like to paint and do creative things. I would like to paint you a picture, a panoramic landscape, of a wonderful man who has been my husband for 43 years. The colors would be greens, browns, and earth tones, because he loves the outdoors; (nature, fishing, hunting, hiking, running, and all kinds of athletics). There is a bright sun, because he is always smiling and cheerful. No gloominess in this picture. Beneath a beautiful mountain is a stream, running very, very fast, making its mark in the world, just as he did for 36 years working for the same company.

Morgan Fox

In May 2001, after receiving a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease, Morgan began working with her close friends and family to remain physically and mentally stimulated. This led to ventures in painting which, as you can see, are a natural venue for her.

Morgan Fox, born in New York, NY in 1946, is a woman with many talents. An avid reader and brillant conversationalist, she has always been known for her cheery disposition.

Emotions

Emotional and behavioral symptoms are common in dementia and can be major sources of stress to patients and their caregivers.

Emotional and behavioral symptoms are common in dementia and can be major sources of stress to patients and their caregivers. Some of the most common emotional and behavioral changes associated with dementia are:

  • Apathy and Indifference—lack of motivation to start new activities and continue old ones, reduced participation in household chores, loss of interest in talking to other people, becoming less affectionate and emotionally expressive.
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