ppa

primary progressive aphasia

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.

Anne Theresa Adams

Though interested in drawing and painting from an early age, much of Anne Adams' adult life was spent in left-brain activities. Obtaining a PhD degree in cell biology from UBC in 1982, Anne held teaching and research positions until one of her children was seriously injured in a car accident late in 1986. Thinking he would need years of specialized care, she gave up academia and decided to take up painting as a full time career. As it turned out, her son made a miraculous recovery within two months, but Anne resolved to continue with her art.

Though interested in drawing and painting from an early age, much of Anne Adams' adult life was spent in left-brain activities. Born in Toronto in 1940, she graduated with an Honors BSc in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1962 and taught at that institution for a couple of years until her first child with husband Robert was born in 1964. The family moved to Vancouver in 1966 where Robert became a Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia.

Director's Interest

An integral component of the Memory and Aging Center’s research mission is to understand various complex functions of the brain. As such, many individuals at the Memory and Aging Center are fascinated by the creative brain and hope to gain a greater understanding of the creative mind.

“Creativity is our species’ natural response
to the challenges of human experience.”
~ Adriana Diaz

Neuroscience research in the past several decades has increased the understanding of human brain functions particularly emotion, perception, and behavior. An integral component of the Memory and Aging Center’s research mission is to understand various complex functions of the brain. As such, many individuals at the Memory and Aging Center are fascinated by the creative brain and hope to gain a greater understanding of the creative mind.

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.

Impact of Neurological Illness

Speech and language difficulty commonly affects individuals with dementia and other neurological conditions. Patients may experience deficits in the form of verbal expression (i.e., word-finding difficulty) or comprehension (i.e., difficulty understanding speech).

Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

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