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BIO 98 — Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: An In-Depth Introduction

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 22—Mar 19
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 4
Unit: 1
Tuition: $400
Instructor(s): Victor W. Henderson
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on February 19
7:00—8:50 pm
Jan 22—Mar 19
8 weeks
Drop By
Feb 4
1 Unit
Victor W. Henderson
Please Note: No class on February 19
Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials often cite Alzheimer’s disease as an overriding concern for the years ahead. It is described as a tsunami, affecting about 5 million Americans. Many things change as we transition into middle age and then into older adulthood, including our memory and other mental skills. Large declines in memory and cognition are referred to as dementia, and the leading cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Although it is largely an illness of old age, early biochemical changes may precede clinical symptoms by well over a decade.

Featuring distinguished faculty from the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, this course will describe cognitive changes over the normal lifespan and review evolving concepts of dementia. We will look at what Alzheimer’s disease is and is not, what parts of the brain are affected, and why the disorder sometimes runs in families. We will consider differences among cognitive aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease; and we will contrast Alzheimer’s disease with other disorders that sometimes lead to dementia. Modern approaches to diagnosis and treatment, new therapies, and challenges faced by Alzheimer’s caregivers will be discussed. Finally, our faculty speakers will talk about potential preventive strategies—both where the evidence is weak and where the evidence seems to offer hope.

Victor W. Henderson, Professor of Health Research and Policy and of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford

Victor Henderson’s research focuses on risk factors for cognitive aging and dementia, and on interventions to help prevent and treat these disorders. He directs the NIH Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and co-directs the master’s degree program in epidemiology and clinical research. He received an MD from Johns Hopkins.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.