psp

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.

Movement Disorders

Movement disorders are a group of diseases and syndromes that affect the ability to produce normal movement. Abnormal movements are broadly classified as either hyperkinetic—too much movement—or hypokinetic—too little movement.

Movement disorders are a group of diseases and syndromes that affect the ability to produce normal movement. Abnormal movements are broadly classified as either hyperkinetic—too much movement—or hypokinetic—too little movement.

Hyperkinetic movements include:

  • Tremor: Involuntary shaking of a body part that is generally rhythmic. Tremor may occur in the following circumstances:
    1. when muscles are relaxed (such as resting one’s hands in his or her lap),

Anatomy of Movement

Movement is produced and coordinated by several interacting brain regions, including the motor cortex, the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. Outside of the brain, the sensory nervous system provides valuable information regarding the speed and positioning of various body parts and spinal nerve cells can allow for coordination of muscle contraction.

Movement is produced and coordinated by several interacting brain regions, including the motor cortex, the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. Outside of the brain, the sensory nervous system provides valuable information regarding the speed and positioning of various body parts and spinal nerve cells can allow for coordination of muscle contraction.

The Motor Cortex

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis of movement disorders requires a careful medical history and a thorough physical and neurological examination. Treatment with medications can be helpful in some cases, but it is common for treatment of movement disorders to also include an exercise program with possible referral to physical and occupational therapy.

Diagnosis

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a degenerative disease of the brain leading to difficulties with walking and balance, problems with eye movements, changes in behavior, difficulty with speech and swallowing, and dementia.

What is progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)?

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a degenerative brain disease leading to difficulties with walking and balance, problems with eye movements, changes in behavior, difficulty with speech and swallowing, and dementia.

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