aging

healthy, normal aging

Marite Carrasco

Recruitment Coordinator

Marite graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in psychology and ethnic studies. While studying at San Jose State, Marite was involved with the Mental Health Ambassador program, where she worked alongside the Counseling and Psychological Center to help increase mental health literacy, provide multiculturally responsive services and reduce mental health stigma. Marite completed her honors thesis under Dr. Wei-Chien Lee investigating the alarmingly low college retention rates of first generation minority students.

Continuing to follow her passion to help underserved populations, Marite worked as a Health Educator at Stanford University in an effort to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy behaviors for low-income Latino families with overweight children. Marite joined the Memory and Aging Center in May 2015 as a recruitment coordinator where she is leading enrollment efforts for the Care Ecosystem study. The study aims to learn more about the needs of both patients with dementia and their family, while improving the care of these patients and reducing costs in the future.

In her free time, Marite enjoys cooking, riding her bike and exploring what the Bay Area has to offer.

Hilary Heuer, PhD

Specialist

Dr. Heuer studies eye movements in aging and neurodegenerative disease as part of Dr. Adam Boxer's laboratory.

Sleep and Cognition in Older Adults

The purpose of this study is to determine how sleep is affected in both healthy aging and neurodegenerative processes. The study aims to determine whether sleep quality alters performance on cognitive tasks in older adults and whether this relationship changes with mild to moderate cognitive impairments.

Summary

  • Study director: Christine Walsh, PhD
  • Sponsor: National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Tau Research Consortium
  • Recruiting?: Yes
  • Official study title: The Relationship Between Sleep and Cognition in Older Adults

Marita Meyer

Dyslexia Center coordinator

Marita graduated from UCLA in June 2015 with a bachelor's degree in psychobiology. During her time as an undergraduate, she volunteered in the Tiwari-Woodruff lab investigating the relationship between gestational testosterone and myelination during development and disease. Additionally, she spent time in James Waschek’s lab studying the role of neuropeptides in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Marita joined the team as the Dyslexia Center coordinator in July 2015.

Isabel Sible

Clinical Research Coordinator

Isabel Sible graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 with a degree in cognitive science. At Berkeley, she contributed to research on social and emotional changes that can occur in neurodegenerative diseases under the guidance of Dr. Robert Levenson. Additionally, she worked on a project in Dr. Robert Knight’s lab that focused on reconstructing music from intra-cranial recordings of the human brain.

Isabel joined the Memory and Aging Center in May of 2015. She is a clinical research coordinator to Drs. Bill Seeley and Virginia Sturm, examining how neurodegeneration of neural systems gives rise to changes in emotion and social functioning.

Join a Supportive Care Trial

Quality of Life Trials or Supportive Care Trials are research studies to evaluate improving the health, care or quality of life for people, typically without using study drugs or devices. UCSF's Memory and Aging Center (MAC) runs selected supportive trials for people with neurodegenerative disease. Your participation helps us evaluate these interventions. If one of our trials looks interesting to you, please talk with your doctor or contact the study team to see if it is appropriate for you.

Christa Watson, PsyD

Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Watson graduated from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology-Stanford PsyD Consortium in 2014. She has a background in psychology, developmental biology, neuroimaging and neuropsychology. Her research interests include brain development across the lifespan. She is currently working on a pediatric HIV brain imaging study with Dr. Victor Valcour.

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors, watching movies, playing soccer, and listening to jazz. She strongly believes the Golden State Warriors will be the 2015 NBA Champions.

Advancing Research and Treatment for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (ARTFL)

The goal of this study is to support the development of FTLD therapies through a multi-site research consortium headquartered at UCSF. The study aims to determine the clinical, genetic, and biomarker profiles of FTLD syndromes where there is a strong correlation between clinical syndrome and underlying pathology (FTD-ALS, PSP, and semantic variant PPA (svPPA)). The study also aims to determine the natural history of familial FTLD using novel clinical measures.

Summary

  • Study directors: Adam Boxer, MD, PhD and Howard Rosen, MD
  • Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Recruiting?: Yes
  • Official study title: Advancing Research and Treatment for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (ARTFL)

Sarah Dulaney, RN, MS, CNS

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Sarah Dulaney earned a master of science degree in gerontological nursing at UCSF and is certified as a Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Over the past ten years, Sarah has worked with adults with cognitive impairment in community, long term care and hospital settings. As an AmeriCorps volunteer for L’Arche USA in Portland, Oregon, Sarah lived and worked with adults with developmental disabilities and gained insight into the important role of the family caregiver. As a nursing assistant at Chaparral House in Berkeley, California, Sarah continued to develop her ability to connect with and care for confused patients. As a registered nurse on the stroke unit at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco, Sarah continues to practice her hands-on skills and offer a supportive presence to patients and families experiencing the devastation of acute brain loss.

Before joining the Care Ecosystem study team at the Memory and Aging Center in 2014, Sarah worked as a Dementia Clinical Nurse Specialist and Rural Dementia Care Coordinator for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. In addition to providing telephone-based care coordination for veterans and their caregivers living in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, Sarah provided staff training and consultation to help prevent and reduce dementia-related behaviors in the Community Living Centers in Menlo Park, California.

Early Onset and Atypical Alzheimer’s Disease

Approximately 5% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease develop symptoms before age 65, without a known genetic cause. In this study, we use comprehensive clinical evaluations, cerebrospinal fluid (optional) and genetic analyses, and MRI and PET imaging to improve our understanding and diagnosis of early onset and atypical Alzheimer’s disease.

Summary

  • Study director: Gil Rabinovici, MD
  • Sponsor: National Institute on Aging
  • Official study title: Early Age-of-Onset AD: Clinical Heterogeneity and Network Degeneration
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