healthy, normal aging

Virginia Sturm, PhD

Assistant Professor

Virginia Sturm, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. After undergraduate work at Georgetown University, she received her PhD degree in clinical psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF. Her research centers on laboratory measurement of emotion and social behavior in patients with neurodegenerative disease.

Dr. Sturm directs the Clinical Affective Neuroscience (CAN) Laboratory located in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and affiliated with the UCSF Center for Psychophysiology and Behavior (CPB).

Glossary of Medical Terms

This list defines many of the words or terms you will hear when discussing neurodegenerative disease.

  • agnosia: A loss of the ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, shapes or smells without injury to the primary sensory organ or memory loss
  • agrammatism: The presence of grammatical errors in speech, such as the omission or incorrect usage of articles (“cow jumped over moon”), prepositions (“dog walk bridge”) or verbs (“cat eated mouse”).

Shirley Reeder

Clinic Practice Manager

Shirley Reeder manages the Memory and Aging Center Clinic.

Edgar Busovaca

Imaging Core Associate

Edgar Busovaca works with the acquisition, archiving and analysis of MRI data within the MAC. His primary projects are Dr. Victor Valcour's investigations in local individuals aging with HIV and neuroAIDS research in Thailand.

Prior to becoming a part of the MAC, Edgar acquired a BA degree in 2009 from the University of California, Berkeley in cognitive science. As a student, Edgar studied both computer science and neuroscience and also assisted research in numerical reasoning, and later, the neurodevelopment of reasoning ability. He hopes to carry his research experiences forward into a graduate program in cognitive neuroscience.

In his spare time, Edgar is an avid cyclist and music enthusiast.

Anna M. Karydas

Genetics and Specimens Project Manager

Anna Karydas joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2005 to support research activities investigating genetic causes of neurodegenerative diseases. She manages our laboratory specimens, genetic samples and genetic collaborations.

Brianne Bettcher, PhD

Assistant Professor

Brianne Bettcher completed her PhD degree in clinical psychology, with a concentration in neuroscience, from Temple University in 2010. During her time at Temple, she developed her research on error monitoring processes in individuals diagnosed with a dementia. Her research addressed how deficits in error monitoring affect an individual's capacity to carry out activities of daily living and function autonomously. She also developed an intervention strategy to train everyday task knowledge and demonstrated its efficacy for improving error detection. She completed her internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Palo Alto VA Hospital.

Currently, Dr. Bettcher is an Assistant Professor in Neurology and works as a neuropsychologist at the Memory and Aging Center. Her research focuses on the role of inflammation in cognitive aging and utilizes cognitive neuroscience techniques to understand how vascular and inflammatory risk factors may impact brain structure. Her research is funded by an NIH/NIA K23 Career Development Award to study the relationship between peripheral inflammation, cognitive functions and white matter microstructure in healthy, community dwelling older adults.

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