San Antonio Express News: Studies of Alzheimer’s and brain diseases vital for Texas

January 14, 2019

“The brain is the organ of destiny. It holds within its humming mechanism secrets that will determine the future of the human race.”

Wilder Penfield, American-Canadian neurosurgeon (1891-1976)

The healthy brain solves problems, triumphs over adversity, paints works of art and composes sonatas. When the brain is diseased or injured, by contrast, the toll is devastating. Ask the caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Ask the war veterans haunted by traumatic flashbacks. Ask the senior adults who miss living independently.

On behalf of our communities and courageous families, UT Health San Antonio is waging an unprecedented initiative to understand, prevent and treat brain diseases, particularly those related to aging. Aging is, overwhelmingly, the No. 1 risk factor for the top causes of death, including dementia and other brain impairments. About 1 in 7 adults in Texas is 65 and older, and by 2050 this figure is expected to increase to 1 in 5.

This offensive on brain diseases is propelled by the university’s Healthy Brain Consortium, which marshals effort in multiple arenas.

The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, a world-recognized center at UT Health San Antonio, is expanding the knowledge frontier in the biology of aging and taking laboratory discoveries to patients.

The Barshop Institute brings together the world’s leading scientists in aging and longevity research, and provides them with the latest research technologies. The institute’s mission is to help our aging population live with strength and vitality throughout life, growing older with vigor and without disability.

Our Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases is the first comprehensive center in South Texas dedicated to study and treat dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. With 1 in 10 people age 65 and older being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, we moved to establish this institute in 2017.

Because of economic factors, neurologists who treat dementia are in short supply both in San Antonio and rural South Texas. A place like the Biggs Institute can provide expert diagnosis (after careful evaluation) and comprehensive care for people with dementia and their care partners.

To read the full article, visit the San Antonio Express News website.

Article Categories: News, Research