Category Archives: Health and Medicine

The Latest on Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. People with PD may experience tremor, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), limb rigidity and gait and balance problems.

The cause remains largely unknown. Although there is no cure, treatment options vary and include medications and surgery. While Parkinson’s itself is not fatal, disease complications can be serious.

In this new series you will learn about the latest breakthroughs, leading-edge technology and care for Parkinson’s disease from interdisciplinary experts at UC San Diego.

Topics include:

  • Wearable technology to automate medication management
  • Support programs patients
  • A personalized approach to treating PD
  • Making new neurons to treat PD

UC San Diego Health is a designated Center of Excellence by the Parkinson’s Foundation. It represents the consensus of leaders in the field that the UC San Diego program is among the world’s leading centers for Parkinson’s research, outreach and care.

Browse more programs in Innovations Shaping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease Treatment .

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Family Health in Challenging Times

Resilience and coping have been hot topics in the recent era of multiple societal and environmental stressors. Teenagers and their families have had to learn to adapt to challenges they’ve never imagined. This has meant learning new and improved strategies for coping with multiple stressors and their impacts on health.

UCSF has been involved in clinical care, education, and research in these fields since well before recent events, and has been actively engaged in elevating supports during challenging times.

In this series, researchers, educators, and clinicians share their experiences as they investigate, develop, and deliver the knowledge base and tools to help the community build the resources to help children and teenagers not only to cope in challenging times, but to thrive.

Browse more programs in Family Health in Challenging Times.

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Environmental Justice and Human Health

Human health is inseparable from environmental health. Our exposure to toxic environmental chemicals through air, water, food, and consumer products is contributing to a surge in chronic disease (cancer, asthma, diabetes, COPD, etc.), developmental delay, neurodegenerative disease, and infertility. Our climate emergency’s associated catastrophic events (hurricanes, wildfires, floods, famine, etc.) are driving massive human displacement as populations flee climate-fueled war, conflict, and environmental degradation. Existing health challenges and health care systems will need considerable investments of resources and attention in order to mitigate the impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how the web of life connects human health to other species and global health, and the importance of systemic solutions.

Environmental threats to human health are not experienced equally among populations. Structural and institutional racism, and other economic and public policy choices underlie the fact that some communities suffer more and die earlier from environmental health harms. While health care professionals work to mitigate suffering of individuals, the cause and enduring solutions to these problems are systemic, and as such, require solutions that address the upstream influences on health at a society-wide level. Thus, research and policy decisions are needed that address the systemic roots of environmental threats to our health.

This series explores a range of environmental contributors to human health and disease through the lens of our most vulnerable populations, and seeks to identify and advocate for systemic solutions by health professionals and community members.

The series is co-organized by the UCSF EaRTH Center, UCSF Program for Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE), and San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and further supported by the UCSF Center for Climate Health and Equity and the Environmental and Climate Health Student Advisory Group. Series Co-Chairs include Annemarie Charlesworth, Patrice Sutton, Robert Gould, Nadia Gaber.

Browse more programs in Environmental Justice and Human Health: Creating Systemic Solutions.

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Space Medicine

UCSF has a long history of pioneering biomedical research and a bold vision for advancing health worldwide. This innovative series provides insights into the complexities of optimizing human health and medical management in Space.

Knowledge of physical and behavioral adaptations to Human Space Exploration and the countermeasures to these has deepened our understanding of many medical conditions. Pioneering research and development of innovative solutions for Space travel are informing terrestrial health care, advancing our capabilities in remote medical management and informing the future practice of medicine.

You will find fascinating presentations by space health experts, including astronauts, clinicians, scientists, engineers, health tech innovators and NASA thought leaders, sharing how space-associated science and technology can accelerate medical innovation and provide health benefits universally.

Browse more programs in Space Medicine and Its Influence on Earth.

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Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.

Most medical and health professional education programs inadequately address care for people with developmental and intellectual developmental disabilities, although they represent a growing (and aging) population in the US.

This 20th annual interdisciplinary conference offers a unique update for health care professionals and others who care for children, youth, and adults with developmental disabilities and complex health care needs.

Presentations by expert faculty should be of interest to pediatricians, family physicians, nurse clinicians, psychologists, and internists who are involved in the health care of individuals across the lifespan with developmental disabilities, as well as to those in other health-related disciplines including health policy, psychiatry, school health, social work, and case management services. While the conference is designed for health care professionals, families and individuals with developmental disabilities are sure to learn from the various presentations.

Browse more programs in Developmental Disabilities Update.

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