Commentary: San Antonio is building a national resource in brain health

Posted on: Saturday, April 8th, 2023

Originally published by the San Antonio Express-News on April 4, 2023.

By William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, and Sudha Seshadri, MD

In the coming years, an overwhelming number of people in our community will reach the stage of life when they are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The primary risk factor for developing dementia is a person’s age. According to census data, Bexar County is home to 250,000 senior adults 65 and older, and the number is projected to grow as San Antonio is an attractive retirement destination.

The city’s population is more than 60 percent Hispanic. Data show Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than Caucasians to develop dementia..

Health leaders expect a tsunami of health care challenges related to dementia for this region.

In response, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also called UT Health San Antonio, will soon build the $100 million Center for Brain Health on Floyd Curl Drive in the South Texas Medical Center.

Center for Brain Health rendering. View from Charles Katz Drive.

The new facility will house the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, our top-of-class, nationally recognized institute that serves South Texas patients with conditions that include dementia. Other neurologists in the center will care for patients with Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, peripheral neuropathy and other disorders.

The Center for Brain Health will be a critically important site of clinical research, offering the latest advancing therapies for dementia, neurodegenerative diseases and all neurologic disorders. The region’s most powerful 7-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, system will provide high-resolution images to inform diagnoses, treatment and research. A non-oncology infusion suite will enable the administration of new drugs for patient care and clinical trials.

To read the full article, visit the UT Health San Antonio Newsroom.

Article Categories: In the News