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UT Health San Antonio has brilliant minds dedicated to protecting yours through:
- understanding why Alzheimer’s disease disproportionately affects Hispanics,
- finding clues to create safe and effective treatments for brain cancer,
- development of a therapy to combat post-traumatic headache and
- providing treatment to overcome substance use and mental illness.
Solving brain diseases
Data show that Hispanic Americans are 1.5 times more likely than white Americans to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Health leaders are anticipating a tsunami of dementia-related health care challenges in our predominantly Hispanic region.
The Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, UT Health San Antonio, a top, nationally recognized institute, leads human clinical trials of cutting-edge agents for the treatment of memory-robbing diseases.
The Biggs Institute is the only Alzheimer’s research center in the state designated by the National Institute on Aging. The basis of Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases is being explored through analysis of samples in the Biggs Institute’s Brain Bank and Biorepository and through leading-edge genetic research identifying new drug targets, including in Hispanics.
This spring, UT Health San Antonio announced it would build a $100 million Center for Brain Health to enhance its Biggs Institute and the Department of Neurology at its Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Longa School of Medicine. The clinical trials offered by the Biggs Institute and the Department of Neurology are unique and not duplicated hundreds of miles in any direction. Advanced imaging and expanded neuropsychological testing in the new building will greatly assist patients and their families in diagnosis and care.
Other neurologists at the center will care for patients with Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), peripheral neuropathy and other conditions. Along with these efforts, the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing offers excellent programs focused on caring for caregivers.
Prolonging survival in brain cancer
The Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio is one of only four National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in Texas, and the only one in South Texas. NCI designation places us among the most respected cancer centers in the world.
Glioblastoma is among the cancers targeted for eradication by this elite NCI center. Studies are ongoing in collaboration with multiple academic departments at UT Health San Antonio. Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor and is one of the most complex, lethal and treatment-resistant cancers. Only 65% of patients live one year after diagnosis and only 12% live five years.
UT Health San Antonio laboratories are making new discoveries about glioblastomas and developing potential drug therapies for this terrible disease.
Post-injury headache relief
A study published by the UT Health San Antonio School of Psychiatry in 2022 led to the first therapy developed specifically for post-traumatic headaches in military populations. The therapy significantly reduces related disabilities in veterans. It also reduces co-occurring symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with effects comparable to the gold standard treatment for PTSD.
In addition, an innovative treatment known as cognitive behavioral therapy for headaches was attractive to patients, showing low dropout rates. It is also easy for therapists to learn and deliver. This marks the first major success in the treatment of post-traumatic headache, perhaps the most debilitating symptom of traumatic brain injury.
A new study associated with the STRONG STAR Consortium led by UT Health San Antonio will test the durability of the headache therapy in a larger study at multiple military and veterans’ centers across the United States.
Transformative care for people with substance use and/or mental illness
Be Well Texas is one of the largest state-funded programs for individuals in Texas, providing comprehensive treatment and recovery support to those seeking help for substance use and/or mental health. Administered by UT Health San Antonio faculty and staff, Be Well Texas provides access to high-quality, low-barrier, evidence-based care using science, innovation and capacity building.
Virtual visits are available anywhere in Texas and in-person visits are available in San Antonio at 5109 Medical Drive. Insurance is not required for eligible patients. Call 888-85-BeWell or visit BeWellTexas.org.
Improving brain health will lead to a healthier society as a whole
From Alzheimer’s disease to cancer to mental health, UT Health San Antonio’s vision is to serve families and ensure strong and lasting brain health. Join the journey with us and learn more at AdvancingBrainHealth.org.
Read more about UT Health San Antonio’s brain research and other discoveries aimed at curing diseases happening now at News.uthscsa.edu.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), a major driver of San Antonio’s $44.1 billion health and life sciences sector, is the largest academic research institution in South Texas with an annual research portfolio of 360 million dollars.
Achieving significant economic impact with its five professional schools, a diverse workforce of 7,900, an annual operating budget of $1.08 billion and clinical practices that provide 2.6 million patient visits each year, UT Health San Antonio plans to add more than 1,500 higher-wage jobs over the next five years to serve San Antonio, Bexar County and South Texas.
To learn about the many ways We Make Lives Better, visit UTHealthSA.org.