UCI Mind

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Joshua Grill, Co-Director of UCI MIND; Maria Shriver; Dr. Frank LaFerla, Dean of UCI’s School of Biological Sciences and Co-Director of UCI MIND)


Alzheimer’s Disease Is a disease that is devastating not only for the individual but families and our country’s health care system. I am a critical care nurse but also a daughter of a mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. I share this commonality with many including Maria Shiver who also had a parent with Alzheimer’s disease, her father, Robert Sargent Shiver Jr. who was diagnosed in 2003 and died in 2011. Maria Shiver has followed in the footsteps of activism of her father as the founder of The Woman’s Alzheimer’s Movement. Dr. Joshua Grill, co-director of UCI MIND, describes Maria Shiver as a champion for research for Alzheimer’s disease. Ms. Shriver’s voice gives strength to families and individuals who have been affected by this disease. Two-thirds of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are women.

I had an opportunity to sit down and speak with Ms. Shiver at the University of California Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) gala event on December 2, 2017. Maria, a gracious woman, and vocal activist was presented with the most distinguished award at this event. I commented that she is well known, so others will listen to what is being said in regard to women and Alzheimer’s disease. She looked at me and with a face of sadness stated, “Sometimes I feel all alone.” I understood her remarks as I felt alone when my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. That is how I found UCI MIND as I too looked for all I could find about this disease. Maria vows never to give up until there is a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Orange County has the only state and federally funded Alzheimer’s disease research center, UCI MIND. By the year 2030, the population of those diagnosed in Orange County alone is anticipated to rise 74 percent. There are currently 84,000 people in the Orange County living with this disease per Dr. LaFerla, co-director, UCI MIND. Raising awareness and needed funding with the eighth annual gala for research, UCI MIND’s goal is to make a difference in finding a cure. UCI MIND is internationally known and one of only 30 National Institute of Health-funded Alzheimer’s disease research centers in the nation.

Medical researchers are working hard to understand and treat disease. Through UCI MIND there is a registry that will match patients and doctors in clinical research. The UCI Consent to Contact (C2C) Registry is an opportunity for those in Orange County, California to help in the advances of research to find cures.

What a difference Maria Shiver is making bringing Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects woman to the forefront. UCI MIND is a center in Orange County that is raising awareness of the research and presenting education to the local communities. Check out UCI MIND’s website because minds matter.

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