Achieving the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 – as set forth in the National Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease – will require the proactive involvement of research volunteers from our community. To garner community involvement in research, the the UCI ADRC Education and Information Component combats the widespread lack of knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease in the lay public and professionals through a variety of education and outreach activities. Annually, the Education and Information Core educates 7,500-plus individuals about normal aging, MCI, and Alzheimer’s disease as well as available community services and opportunities to participate in research studies, including clinical trials of new therapeutic agents.
Highlights of the EIT Core’s activities include the annual Southern California Regional Alzheimer’s Disease Conference, a quarterly Family Education Series addressing diagnosis, treatment, management challenging behaviors, and risk reduction in Alzheimer’s disease; Ask the Doc community forums featuring a neurologist, neuropsychologist, and neuroscientist who answer the audience’s most pressing questions about memory loss, Frontiers of the MIND, a semi-annual educational event over dinner that features a national expert on a topic of particular interest (e.g., traumatic brain injury), and the ReMIND Symposium, a venue for young emerging researchers in the neurosciences to present their work.
A special focus of the Education and Information Core is outreach to Chinese Americans, a large and growing underserved population in Orange County. Interestingly, Asians were the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010, surging 46%. Through culturally and linguistically appropriate educational events and materials, developed with the support of our Chinese-speaking community liaison, Florence Huang, M.S.G., and patient care coordinator, Robin Li, the ADCRC hopes to break down barriers to diagnosis (e.g., shame, misperceptions that memory loss is due to normal aging, mental illness, karma, or an ancestral curse) and engage Chinese Americans in research that will ultimately help us better understand ethnic differences in the development and clinical expression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Effective community collaborations with agencies such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter, Alzheimer’s Family Services Center, and the Caregiver Resource Center contribute to the success of the Education and Information Core. We are particularly grateful to our Community Ambassadors, volunteers who generously give of their time to help represent the ADRC at educational events, health fairs, and other activities.
Click here to visit the Patients & Caregivers Family Education Series.