autumn newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Facts and Figures Report
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: History, Challenges, and Updates
  • Los Angeles Neurological Society Leadership Panel
  • New Addition to the Easton Center
  • Caregiver Support Groups
  • Upcoming Events

The Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA has very active teams working on basic research, drug discovery, biomarkers for early diagnosis and clinical activity including clinical trials, cognitive testing, and patient care.

Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Facts and Figures Report

Cover of the lzheimer’s Association 2021 Facts and Figures Report

By: Monica Moore, MSGMirella Díaz-Santos, PhD, and Keith Vossel, MD, MSc

Earlier this year, the Alzheimer’s Association released the 2021 Facts and Figures Report. Each year this report highlights the significant impact Alzheimer’s disease has on our society and health care system and includes a Special Report focusing on a population or issue of heightened concern. In previous years, the Special Report discussed topics such as caregiving, diagnosis, and the impact of Alzheimer’s on the health care system. This year’s Special Report was entitled “Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer's in America”.

COVID-19 upended all our lives last year and had a substantial impact on people with Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners. In fact, deaths due to Alzheimer’swereup16%lastyear. ManypeoplewithAlzheimer’sdiseasewho contracted COVID-19 lived in care facilities where outbreaks were more common. The isolation that resulted from the COVID-19 restrictions caused increased stress on caregivers, who were already at heightened levels of stress, anxiety and depression prior the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolation secondary to public health mandates of physical distancing also disrupted the social, communal and individual routines of people with Alzheimer’s disease, which in turn, likely caused many to progress at a faster rate. The complete impact of COVID-19 on people with Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown and the Alzheimer’s Association will provide a more in-depth report in the 2022 Facts and Figures Report.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated and shined a light to how structural racism (Khazanchi et al. 2020) is at the root of the longstanding health and health care disparities faced by communities of color. These communities experience lack of access, lack of culturally and linguistically congruent/responsible providers and cognitive tests, mistrust in the health care system driven by a systemic history of discrimination and oppression based on race, ethnicity, nationality, age, immigration status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and religion, including all the unique intersectionalities (Crenshaw, 1994). These injustices and inequities have led to increased Alzheimer’s

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