Cleaning while we sleep: A novel approach in Alzheimer’s research

Every 67 seconds, an American develops Alzheimer’s disease. It affects 5.3 million people in the US and if no medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure the disease are found, this number will triple by 2050. In 2013, Jeffrey Iliff helped discover how our brains flush out toxic waste as we sleep. This is waste that builds up in our brains during the day – including the Alzheimer’s-linked protein, amyloid beta. His findings, which he’s advancing by the … Read More

Five things you should know when caring for a loved one with dementia

Caregiving for a loved one with dementia can be challenging to your family dynamics, your finances, and more. But did you know, it can also be hard on your emotional and physical health? Research shows that caregivers for persons with dementia are more vulnerable to health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is important that caregivers take care of themselves as well as their care-recipients. 1. Find, and attend, a support group. It … Read More

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is key goal for OHSU researchers

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Symptoms include memory loss, personality changes and trouble thinking, and the disease typically worsens over time. Current treatments cannot stop the disease from progressing, but they can slow the development of symptoms temporarily. Clinical diagnosis is determined by noting the degree of a patient’s mental decline, which is not obvious until there is severe … Read More

Healthy aging and preserving community memories

The Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center in partnership with the Center for Healthy Communities is launching a first-of-its kind study around brain health intervention. The innovative program aims to boost cognitive health within the African-American community in Portland. The Sharing History through Active Reminiscence and Photo-imagery (SHARP) study asks African Americans who are 55 or older to engage in community memory building while walking through historically black neighborhoods in North and Northeast Portland. Participants … Read More

You’re invited to a special screening of Una Vida: A Fable of Music and Mind

You are invited to a very special screening of the award-winning movie Una Vida: A Fable of Music and The Mind. The film is based on the book written by Nicolas Bazan, M.D., Ph.D., internationally known neuroscientist and born storyteller. Recently previewed in Portland as part of the OHSU Brain Institute’s Brain Awareness Lecture Series, Dr. Bazan is hosting a special showing of the film in honor of and as a benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association, … Read More

Family touched by Alzheimer’s gives back

Richard Sloop, M.D., was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the late 1990s. The news hit the family hard, and raised serious questions: How do we handle care? What will be required? Dr. Sloop, a 1956 graduate of the OHSU School of Medicine (then called the University of Oregon Medical School) had been a successful surgeon in Salem for more than thirty years and raised five children with his wife, Barb. “It was like hitting a … Read More

Five ways to explore Brain Awareness Season

On behalf of the OHSU Brain Institute, I am proud to present our 16th Brain Awareness Season! This year’s theme is The Infinite Brain. The universe is full of unlimited connections and possibilities, but the world inside our heads is as equally fascinating and infinite. Our brains not only affect how we think, feel and act, but also how society develops and evolves. The Season includes events for all types of audiences. Here are just a … Read More

What you missed at BRAINet: The Many Brains in Music

The Brain Research Awareness and Information Network (BRAINet) is the volunteer outreach organization of the OHSU Brain Institute. BRAINet Lecture Luncheons are held each month, where members can hear presentations from OHSU faculty members. On December 15, we were lucky enough to be joined by Larry Sherman, Ph.D., who spoke about the connections between music and the brain. Dr. Sherman is both an accomplished musician and Senior Scientist for the Division of Neuroscience at OHSU’s Oregon … Read More

The connection between the brain, sleep and dementia

Last week, I talked about ongoing research on how sleep “deep cleans” your brain, as well as my participation in the National Geographic Channel’s documentary Sleepless in America. Meanwhile, our team of OHSU researchers, along with colleagues at the University of Rochester in New York, are plunging ahead with the story of the brain, sleep and dementia. We recently published an article in the journal Annals of Neurology that showed that the “brain cleaning system” is impaired in the aging … Read More

Sleepless in America — and the science behind it

There’s nothing quite like that feeling in your head after a long night of…no sleep. Your head feels disorganized, foggy, fuzzy, jumbled. Like it’s full of sludge left over from the night before. That’s maybe because it is. My colleagues and I have made some recent discoveries about what happens to the brain during sleep. In essence, we’ve found that the brain’s cells shrink during sleep in order to open up the space between them. That … Read More

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