|Home||Who We Are||Patient Care||Research||News & Events||Programs & Services||Gifts||Contact & Directions|
Research Coordinator Jessica Nuñez was recently awarded the 2012 Healthcare Hero award through Penn Medicine. Jessica received the nomination from Lori and Keith Crammer, a participant and informant couple formerly involved in the bapineuzumab, or Bapi, study. After getting a brochure from Penn in the mail about the award, the Crammers decided to nominate Jessica for her devotion as a research coordinator on the study and for her constantly upbeat attitude during their research visits at the Penn Memory Center.
"Why did we nominate Jess? Because we love her," Lori Crammer said.
"It's always good to see her. She always has a smile on her face," added Keith Crammer. "She's great."
For Jessica, receiving the Healthcare Hero award was a welcome pat on the back for her work as a coordinator at the Penn Memory Center.
"After working here for so many years it shows that people trust me with their loved one's care. It's an amazing feeling because you do it not for gratification but because it's something you want to find a cure for, and it feels good when someone acknowledges the dedication and time you give to the visits," Jessica said.
Be sure to take a look at Jessica's Healthcare Hero 2012 pin, which she wears proudly to commemorate the award and what her efforts mean to the Crammers.
A new study shows that Americans fear Alzheimer's more than any other disease. In this round table video segment from HuffPost Live, host Janey Varney speaks with Steven Arnold, MD, Director of the Penn Memory Center; Deborah Swiss, a caregiver; and Heather Snyder, Senior Associate Director of Medical and Scientific Relations for the Alzheimer's Association. The segment includes a discussion on Alzheimer's disease that helps shed light on the condition in honor of National Alzheimer's Awareness Month.
Hospitals and imaging centers across the country are starting to adopt a new PET scan technology that aids in diagnosing dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. The scan provides clinicians and researchers with the ability to see beta amyloid plaques in the brain, a major marker in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease that until now could only be seen in an autopsy. This new technology makes it possible for clinicians and researchers to see these plaques in real time. But with a FDA label that limits its use to ruling out Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s field is still figuring out its diagnostic value to older adults with cognitive complaints. Now, the medical marketplace will start to shape this value.
More than 300 centers are equipped to perform the scans, but as of now many insurers including Medicare will not cover the several thousand dollar cost of the scans. Another issue surrounding the scans is the emotional effect of revealing the results of these scans to patients and their family members.
On Saturday, November 17 the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's took place at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia. The walk raised awareness and funds for care, support and research of Alzheimer's disease. The Penn Memory Center and Penn's Institute on Aging were present at this year's walk to spread the word on the aging and Alzheimer's-related services, programs and research available at Penn.
On October 27, 2012 Steven Arnold, MD, Director of the Penn Memory Center, presented a lecture titled "New Diagnostic Studies for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer's Disease" at the First Alzheimer Caribbean Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The conference provided a forum for education and discussion not only for physicians and researchers in the field but also for health care professionals and caregivers. Topics including early diagnosis, cognition and judgment, neuropsychological testing, and non-pharmacological approaches related to Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's diaseas were discussed, and a question and answer session followed. The Puerto Rico Alzheimer's Association serves the community of Puerto Rico with services and educational programs for patients with Alzheimer's diasease and other types of dementia.
On Monday, November 5 the Penn Memory Center welcomed three visitors who work with the geriatric population at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore at the weekly consensus conference. Pictured from left to right: Ms. Lim Li Ying, Senior Medical Social Worker; Ms. Jesbindar Kaur, RN and Senior Nurse Manager; and Mr. Joseph Cheong Kah Heng, RN.
On October 18, 2012 the radiopharmaceutical substance florbetapir, a component that helps indicate the presence of biomarkers in the brain helpful in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, was approved for use in the radioactive dye Amyvid in Europe by the European Medicines Agency.
Florbetapir is the active substance in Amyvid. Florbetapir functions by binding to beta amyloid plaques in the brain, which have been found to be present in neurodegenerative dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. Amyvid is a solution which, when injected, has the ability to show the presence of beta amyloid plaques in the brain using Positron Emmission Tomography, or PET scans.
Amyvid can be used diagnostically to show plaque density in the brains of adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment. It can also assist in showing a negative scan, which indicates no plaques and is not consistent with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Click on the images below to display a photo slideshow of this year's Thank You Breakfast.
The 6th Annual Penn Memory Center Thank You Breakfast drew a packed crowd to the Inn at Penn’s Woodlands Ballroom on October 20, 2012. The theme of the annual invitation-only breakfast is to thank research participants for their contribution to Penn’s Alzheimer’s disease research.
Over 200 research participants along with their family members and guests gathered to enjoy eggs, bacon, fruit and pastries before attending presentations on the latest updates in Alzheimer’s disease and the results of Alzheimer’s disease research done at the Penn Memory Center.
Doctors John Trojanowski, Steven E. Arnold, David Wolk, Jason Karlawish, and Penn Memory Center Associate Director for Clinical and Research Operations Felicia Greenfield each presented the latest results from their research studies as well as updates on Penn Memory Center programs and upcoming research opportunities. The presentations concluded with an open question and answer session. Guests’ questions ranged from how biomarker results are used in clinical practice to the current and future state of Alzheimer’s disease research.
Guests’ evaluations were overwhelmingly positive. Comments from the evaluations included:
“I find this program great. It gives me some hope, and learning about the disease is very informative. Thank you for all you do.”
“This is a much appreciated event in recognition of the efforts of those of us who want to help.”
“Your research is wonderful and your sharing it like this is unbelievably generous and much appreciated.”
To learn more about research opportunities at the Penn Memory Center, visit our research page.
Medical historians may be familiar with the story of Dr. William Beaumont, but Jason Karlawish, MD, casts it in a new light in his novel, Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont. The story is fascinating on many levels, but it is Karlawish’s portrayal of Beaumont’s unstoppable, desperate, and almost dangerous ambition that takes center stage in this engaging historical account.
Efforts to develop a blood test for Alzheimer's disease are progressing, as a new study co-authored by experts from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found a group of biomarkers that hold up in statistical analyses in three independent groups of patients. The study, a unique collaborative effort between researchers at Penn, Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta and Washington University in St. Louis as well as the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), was just published online in Neurology.
Previous efforts to develop better and more clinically useful Alzheimer's diagnostic tests, including research from Penn, have focused on spinal fluid biomarkers and radiologic tests like MRIs and PET scans. These newer tests can detect various levels of proteins implicated in the Alzheimer's disease process, such as amyloid-beta and tau proteins. In this study, researchers found that the levels or amounts of four different biomarkers detected in blood plasma were different in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's, when compared to healthy controls.
The research team from Penn included Steven E. Arnold, MD, Jason Karlawish, MD, Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA, and John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD.