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Joshua Grill - UC Irvine. Irvine, CA, US

Joshua Grill Joshua Grill

Director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Nerological Disorders at UCI | UC Irvine


Joshua Grill directs a major Alzheimer's disease research institute helps lead the national strategy for AD clinical trial recruitment.






Maximizing Healthy Brain Aging- Joshua Grill, PhD & Ruobing Li, MA Research-Promising Therapies for Dementia Patients | Joshua D. Grill, PhD - UCLA Health UCI C2C Registry - Joshua Grill, PhD




Dr. Grill has been the recipient of the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Junior Investigator Award, the Alzheimer’s Association Turken Research Prize, the Community Spirit Award from OPICA Adult Day Services, and the P. Gene and Elaine Smith Term Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. He has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Hartford Foundation, the BrightFocus Foundation, the American Federation for Aging Research, and the University of California. He is the co-leader of the Recruitment Unit and the Internal Ethics Committee for the NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and for Lauren Rogen Miller and Seth Rogan's HfC. In 2017, he co-chaired a workgroup as part of the NIH’s Inclusion Across the Lifespan workshop, a congressional mandate in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255). He was part of a working group sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association charged with creating a national strategy for recruitment to Alzheimer’s disease clinical research.

Areas of Expertise (5)


Clinical Trials

Alzheimer’s Disease

Neurodegenerative disorders

Recruitment and Retention

Accomplishments (4)

Community Spirit Award (professional)

OPICA Adult Day Services

Junior Investigator Award (professional)

National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center

Turken Research Prize (professional)

Alzheimer’s Association

P. Gene and Elaine Smith Term Chair (professional)

Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Education (1)

Wake Forest University School of Medicine: PhD, Neuroscience 2004

Media Appearances (11)

Dementia doubles in Orange County in less than a decade

The Orange County Register  online


New number crunching from the Orange County Alzheimer’s estimates that the number of folks enduring this sort of heartbreak has essentially doubled since 2014 in the O.C. That’s a startling jump, from 84,000 to 164,000 people, which works out to about 5% of our total population. … “The new number is believable, especially if a difference from the previous estimate is the inclusion of mild cognitive impairment as a category,” said Dr. Joshua D. Grill, [associate professor of neurobiology & behavior and] noted Alzheimer’s researcher at UC Irvine. “Orange County is ‘grayer’ than the rest of the country, so we do expect relatively more people living with cognitive impairment here.” UCI epidemiologist, [associate professor of public health] and demographer Andrew Noymer concurs. An aging population and increased ascertainment — meaning that the comparisons are not really like-for-like, he said.

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Watch out, Alzheimer’s! Big new grant at UCI, new drug trial at Hoag coming for you

The Orange County Register  online


“It’s an incredibly exciting time, and there’s a lot of promise,” said Joshua Grill, director of UCI’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders.

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Doctors and researchers encourage people to be mindful of their brain health

WTVY  online


Doctor Josh Grill, a University of California Irvine professor, shares tips to improve and become mindful of your brain health.

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New study looks into Alzheimer’s disease

WBBJ  online


Dr. Joshua Grill, the professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology Behavior at the University of California-Irvine, says as people get older, the risk of Alzheimer’s to the brain increases.

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More healthy behaviors = lower risk of Alzheimer’s, research shows

Seniors Matter  online


“People who engaged in more healthy behaviors had a lower risk than people with fewer because all of these things matter, and when it comes to brain-healthy behaviors, more is more!” said Joshua Grill, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine. “So, we should all try to adopt as many brain-healthy behaviors as we can.”

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UCI MIND and AlzOC present free online conference on Alzheimer’s disease

The Orange County Register  online


UCI MIND is the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders housed at UC Irvine, one the first of the nation’s federally-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers. UCI MIND Director Joshua Grill and Jim McAleer, who leads the nonprofit support organization Alzheimer’s Orange County (AlzOC), will provide an overview on the state of dementia research and care.

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Aduhelm Approval Reverberates Through Research

Alzforum  online


Addressing the common concern that a drug approval prompts study participants to leave investigational drug trials for the newly available drug, Joshua Grill of the University of California, Irvine, delineated three approaches for how trials can deal with the advent of aducanumab. One, trialists could prohibit use of the drug, meaning people who want to take the antibody would have to drop out of their current trial or choose not to enroll in future trials. Two, trialists could allow aducanumab as a background therapy, similar to how acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine are handled now. Three, aducanumab could be used as an active arm in the trial, perhaps replacing a placebo control. At present, most trials will take the first or second options, with the third unlikely to happen until the clinical benefit of aducanumab is established, Grill said.

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A crucial, overlooked question on the new Alzheimer’s drug: When should patients stop taking it?

STAT News  online


“When we enroll families in studies of treatments like aducanumab, we try to educate them that they should not expect large improvements in cognition or function,” Joshua Grill, director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine, said in an email to STAT. The drug can’t stop disease progression, only potentially slow it, a change that he warns would likely be imperceptible. “If we can’t expect families to know if the drug is working, how would we expect them to know when it is no longer working?”

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Furor rages over FDA approval of controversial Alzheimer’s drug

The Washington Post  online


“My greatest concern is around people with families with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Joshua D. Grill, an Alzheimer’s researcher at the University of California at Irvine. “Few can afford the financial burden in the first place, let alone the additional costs of Aduhelm.”

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Former California First Lady Maria Shriver gives UC Irvine gender-related research on Alzheimer’s disease another boost

The Orange County Register  online


Her organization’s outreach included Shriver’s presence in November at the opening of a senior living and memory care center in Redondo Beach, an appearance highlighted by a Q&A with leading researchers that included UCI MIND’s director, Dr. Joshua Grill.

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Should Alzheimer's Prevention Trials Include Disease-Modifying Therapies? Experts Weigh the Risks and Benefits

Neurology Today  online


“The evidence suggesting problematic safety profiles for BACE inhibitors is mounting. Yet, there are still more questions than answers about BACE inhibitors, especially in preclinical AD,” Joshua Grill, PhD, associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California in Irvine, told Neurology Today.

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Articles (5)

Study partner types and prediction of cognitive performance: implications to preclinical Alzheimer’s trials

Alzheimer's Research & Therapy

Michelle M. Nuño, Daniel L. Gillen, Joshua D. Grill & for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study

2019 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) clinical trials require enrollment of a participant and a study partner, whose role includes assessing participant cognitive and functional performance. AD trials now investigate early stages of the disease, when participants are not cognitively impaired. This gives rise to the question of whether study partners or participants provide more information in these trials.

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Participant and study partner prediction and identification of cognitive impairment in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease: study partner vs. participant accuracy

Alzheimer's Research & Therapy volume

Mary M. Ryan, Joshua D. Grill, Daniel L. Gillen & for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

2019 Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) clinical trials require participants to enroll with a study partner, a person who can attend visits and report changes in the participant’s cognitive ability. Whether study partners, compared to participants themselves, provide added information about participant cognition in preclinical AD trials is an open question. We tested the hypothesis that study partners provide meaningful information related to participant cognition cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and assessed whether amyloid status modified observed effects.

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Response to “Avoiding Methodological Bias in Studies of Amyloid Imaging Results Disclosure”

Alzheimer's Research & Therapy

Joshua D. Grill, Chelsea G. Cox, Kristin Harkins & Jason Karlawish

2019 The goal of “Reactions to learning a ‘not elevated’ amyloid PET result in a preclinical Alzheimer’s disease trial” was to study how learning one is not eligible for a trial based on an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarker result affects willingness to be in subsequent trials, as well as how it affects other behaviors [1]. Answering this question fills a critical gap in the literature, as preclinical AD trials are increasingly common but the ideal criteria for participant inclusion remains an area of active research. Thus, a person ineligible for one trial may be eligible for another.

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Retention of Alzheimer Disease Research Participants

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorder

Joshua D Grill, Jimmy Kwon, Merilee A Teylan, Aimee Pierce, Eric D Vidoni, Jeffrey M Burns, Allison Lindauer, Joseph Quinn, Jeff Kaye, Daniel L Gillen, Bin Nan

2019 Participant retention is important to maintaining statistical power, minimizing bias, and preventing scientific error in Alzheimer disease and related dementias research.

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Which MCI Patients Should be Included in Prodromal Alzheimer Disease Clinical Trials?

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders

Joshua D Grill, Michelle M Nuño, Daniel L Gillen

2019 Prodromal Alzheimer disease (AD) clinical trials enroll patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) meeting biomarker criteria, but specific enrollment criteria vary among trials.

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