Team led by Seyed Ahmad Sajjadi, assistant professor of neurology, will probe hippocampal sclerosis. UCI School of Medicine

UCI School of Medicine researchers have been awarded a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a type of dementia, called hippocampal sclerosis, that often mimics Alzheimer’s disease. Led by Dr. Seyed Ahmad Sajjadi, assistant professor of neurology, the study will test the hypothesis that HS sufferers have more significant memory impairment than people with Alzheimer’s. Hippocampal sclerosis is present in up to a third of brain autopsy samples from individuals 90 and older who die with dementia. Compared to Alzheimer’s disease pathology, HS pathology is a much stronger predictor of dementia in the oldest old. “There is an urgent need to diagnose this important cause of dementia during life, with the hope of developing effective treatment against HS,” Sajjadi said. America’s population of people 90 and older has tripled since 1980 and currently stands at nearly 2 million. The 90+ age group is now the fastest-growing segment of our population and has the highest rates of dementia.