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February 7, 2020

Pacific Brain Health Center: Seeking A Cure For Alzheimer’s Disease

by Zara Jethani

Pacific Neuroscience Institute brain health specialists are striving to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia. In the United States, about 5.5 million people are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and the worldwide prevalence is estimated to be as high as 24 million. Watch this video to find out about research and clinical trials at the Pacific Brain Health Center at PNI.

Seeking A Cure For Alzheimer’s Disease Transcript:

Verna Porter: The standard of care for Alzheimer’s disease at the present time is largely symptomatic care, meaning once the diagnosis is established, we’re trying to slow down the rate, the progression of the disease, how quickly it evolves. But unfortunately what we’re not doing for Alzheimer’s disease is fixing or correcting or reversing the problem.

Santosh Kesari: So as part of the Brain Health Center, we’re trying to understand what causes the brain damage and we’re trying to come up with a solution on preserving brain function and also repairing it and restoring it.

Verna Porter: Even though we are clinicians and we spend the vast majority of our time with patients, which is what we enjoy the most, we are working closely with our colleagues in research. And so we’re always meeting and talking about ways to integrate research into what we do in clinical care in a positive way such that we’re offering patients additional possibilities of what can be done for Alzheimer’s disease.

Sarah McEwen: So for example, we’re about to start a 12-month intervention study where we’re looking at a precision medicine approach to lifestyle modifications in older adults with memory impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease.

And for that study, we’re taking a four-pillared approach where we’re doing aggressive physical activity interventions, cognitive stimulation interventions, diet nutrition counseling, and also environmental management and medical management.

Verna Porter: We’re getting things from the bench to the bedside through translational medicine in an efficient way that makes sense.

And it’s exciting to be able to use really new cutting edge techniques like quantitative EEG, which is beginning to look at novel brainwave patterns that may be an early sign of disease. Because, unfortunately, not all dementias have a clear path to diagnosis. If we had a blood test we could do that would tell us for sure that a person had Alzheimer’s, that would be wonderful. But we don’t necessarily have those kinds of simple tests. So it’s often a compilation of data that comes together to make a diagnosis of dementia and specifically what type of dementia.

So the simpler, the less invasive our tools, the easier access, the easier they are to perform on patients, the better that diagnostic process becomes.

Santosh Kesari: Whatever we develop, we can really get it out to the population very quickly.

Howard Krauss: We need your help. We need to provide support for our research scientists, we need to provide support for the people who will be writing grant proposals, for the people who will be analyzing the huge amounts of data that we will be cumulating.

Every dollar that we’re able to raise to support the research of the Pacific Brain Health Center will allow us to reach those breakthroughs at a much earlier stage.


Help support the Pacific Brain Health Center and Alzheimer’s disease research. Contact the PNI Foundation at 310-582-7437.

About the Author

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA

Zara Jethani

Zara is the marketing director at Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing. In addition, she is a graphic designer with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare, education and entertainment industries.

Last updated: March 23rd, 2020