Our clinicians and scientists are dedicated to advancing medical knowledge about memory loss. We are studying ways to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Our goal is to develop new strategies to halt the disease process, minimize the impact on individuals and restore lost functions, and eventually find the cause and the cure of these devastating illnesses.
How do the research programs at UM work?
UM Neurology has an ever growing memory research program. UM researchers collaborate with other the University of Miami researches as well as scientists throughout the country. We are proud of our researchers, their dedication and their significant accomplishments.
What are researchers studying?
UM researchers are studying many issues related to memory loss, including the causes and the treatments of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
What are your research goals?
We want to understand why people develop problems with their memory as they age. We also want to understand the factors that make someone susceptible to dementia.
What types of research programs are underway?
There are many. In one program, UM researchers are studying the genetics of memory diseases to find out whether someone is born with these diseases that will become apparent in later years. Gene therapy may one day allow these genetically susceptible people a treatment to prevent memory loss and dementia.
What else are you researching?
We are studying whether the accumulation of amyloid protein in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients can be interrupted and whether this prevents the disease from worsening? UM researchers are also studying the effects of diet and nutrition on brain health and memory.
What about using stem cells for memory loss?
Stem cells are one of the most exciting areas of research today. We all have stem cells in many areas of our bodies including our brain. Scientists are looking to find ways to mobilize our own stem cells and enhance their ability to repair or restore damaged areas of the brain.
Aren’t stem cells difficult to obtain?
No. Science has advanced so that we can now take stem cells from the skin, bone marrow, fatty tissues or other parts of the body. Fetal stem cells are no longer necessary.
How do they work?
Stem cells have the potential to repair or replace damaged brain tissue and thereby restore functions of the brain including memory.
Are your research program making progress?
Yes. Our Miller School team includes researchers from many different fields who collaborate and publish their findings, such as the studies on this page..
What else is special about your research program?
Our researchers benefit from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Brain Endowment Bank. It contains donated brain tissues that scientists use to study conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. It is the only such brain bank in the Southeast U.S and one of only five facilities in the nation.
What are some of the barriers to success?
Well obviously time and money. Our patients don’t have enough time and research is expensive. We never have enough money. But we will make progress and we will overcome these terrible diseases.