IRVINE, CA, June 26, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When Mission Viejo resident Marina Weinberger was eight years old, her father began exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Gradually, the disease took hold of his mind, erasing his memories and ability to perform everyday tasks. Weinberger recounts how her father eventually forgot her age, grade, relationship to him and, eventually, her name.
Having experienced the terrible effects of the disease firsthand, Weinberger was inspired to make a difference in the Alzheimer's community, pursuing a career that will allow her to conduct research on Alzheimer's and related forms of dementia. A senior at Mission Viejo High School, Weinberger has attended Alzheimer's lectures at University of California, Irvine (UCI) and completed a laboratory internship during the summer of 2012 at UCI's Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, where she studied neurological disorder-related activity.
Weinberger is one of six individuals to win a 2014 Science and Research Award from Alzheimer's Association, Orange County (AAOC). Each year, the program honors Orange County high school, undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students aspiring to ultimately pursue a career in the field of Alzheimer's science and research.
"Alzheimer's disease is now the fourth-leading cause of death in Orange County," said Jim McAleer, CEO and President of Alzheimer's Association, Orange County. "AAOC's programs and research have come so far over the last 10 years, but the disease is gaining faster than we are keeping up. With young scientists and researchers like these individuals on our side, along with our many supporters, we are given the hope we need moving toward a future without Alzheimer's."
2014 Science and Research Awardees include:
• Post-Graduate: Anthony J. Carlos, PhD candidate, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, UCI, will receive registration and air fare to the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Copenhagen, Denmark, and $1,500 cash toward travel expenses
• Undergraduate: Rachelle Myev Yellin, Chapman University - $1,000 cash scholarship
• High School:
o Jun Park, Brea-Olinda High School - $500 cash scholarship
o Andrew Lindeborg, Dana Hills High School - $500 cash scholarship
o Anahe Venegas, Anaheim High School - $500 cash scholarship
o Marina Weinberger, Mission Viejo High School - $500 cash scholarship
"Losing the ability to remember is one of the worst things that can happen to a person," said Weinberger. "Thought is a powerful tool humanity uses to accomplish magnificent feats and I plan to apply myself to help as many people preserve their thoughts and memories as I can."
This July, Carlos and McAleer will join thousands of researchers from more than 60 countries at AAIC 2014 in Copenhagen. Orange County residents interested in learning about the latest research in Alzheimer's, and related forms of dementia, can hear McAleer speak on Wednesday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m. at The Hotel Irvine. RSVP required. For more information on AAOC's many programs and services, all provided free of charge, please call (949) 955-9000 or visit http://www.alz.org/oc.
About Alzheimer's Association, Orange County
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Since 1982, Alzheimer's Association, Orange County Chapter has been providing programs and services, free of charge, to Orange County residents with Alzheimer's and related disorders, their families, caregivers, and the community. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative illness that weakens the memory and other cognitive and emotional functions. For more information, call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900, or visit http://www.alz.org/oc.
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