Glossary of Medical Terms

This list defines many of the words or terms you will hear when discussing neurodegenerative disease.

  • agnosia: A loss of the ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, shapes or smells without injury to the primary sensory organ or memory loss
  • agrammatism: The presence of grammatical errors in speech, such as the omission or incorrect usage of articles (“cow jumped over moon”), prepositions (“dog walk bridge”) or verbs (“cat eated mouse”).

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.

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