Local Alzheimer’s Association grantees share research findings

The Alzheimer’s Association convened a record-setting 5,937 Alzheimer’s researchers in Los Angeles last week for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). Researchers shared important news on such areas as cognitive decline in the LGBT community, the impact of sleep medications on dementia risk, advances in the search for blood markers for Alzheimer’s disease and the role of infectious agents in Alzheimer’s disease.

Prior to the conference, more than 550 reviewers gave their time and helped to review the more than 3,411 abstracts submitted for the conference. With participants from 60 countries and more than 1,145 students in attendance, the future is bright for Alzheimer’s research.

Updates on Alzheimer’s Association grants
We were able to catch up with a few of the researchers from our chapter who had received grants from the Alzheimer’s Association. They spoke about their research, so that we could bring a bit of AAIC to you.

Phaedra Bell – Matching generations to reduce loneliness
Dr. Phaedra Bell of UC San Francisco received an Alzheimer’s Association grant to test the feasibility of a program designed to reduce loneliness among older people in San Francisco. The intervention involves matching two younger people with each older person to work together on a creative project. She presented the findings, which included some statistically significant effects, even in the small study sample.

Oanh Meyer – Addressing needs of Vietnamese caregivers
Dr. Oanh Meyer of UC Davis received an Alzheimer’s Association grant to develop an intervention to educate and support Vietnamese caregivers of those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. In her initial interviews with caregivers, she learned more about the role of past immigration trauma on the persons with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Van Ta Park – Skill-building for Vietnamese caregivers
Dr. Van Ta Park from UC San Francisco received funding from the Alzheimer’s Association for a pilot study to adapt an evidence-based skills learning program to improve the mental health of Vietnamese American caregivers.

San Francisco philanthropists receive award
Also at the conference, Dagmar Dolby and David Dolby of San Francisco received the Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for their contributions toward the advancement of Alzheimer’s research, which they make to honor the memory and legacy of sound pioneer Ray Dolby, who passed away with the disease in 2013. We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Dolby family.

David and Dagmar Dolby, receiving award from Dr. Maria Carrillo (middle)

More to come
In August, we will have a second post with additional interviews of researchers from our chapter.

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