UT Health San Antonio officials said May 2 that construction on a $100 million Center for Brain Health, a new patient care and clinical trials facility, has begun on the UT Health San Antonio campus in northwest San Antonio.
A news release said the Center for Brain Health, expected to be complete in 2025, is among $1 billion in capital investments undertaken by UT Health San Antonio over the next four years, including the UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital.
UT Health San Antonio officials said the Center for Brain Health is being built to advance research and provide expert care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias, movement disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other health issues. The facility also will serve as a training venue for medical residents and postgraduate trainees, the release said.
“There is an urgency to our standing up this new comprehensive center of care, the first of its kind in our region,” UT Health San Antonio President Dr. William Henrich said in a statement.
According to UT Health San Antonio, the primary risk factor for developing dementia is a person’s age, and U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Bexar County is home to 250,000 senior adults 65 and older.
UT Health San Antonio officials said San Antonio’s population is more than 60% Hispanic, and data shows Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than Caucasians to develop dementia.
One of every six Americans suffers from brain disease including dementia, headache, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, neuropathy and multiple sclerosis, UT Health San Antonio officials said.
Dr. Sudha Seshadri, professor of neurology and founding director of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio, said the Center for Brain Health will be a vital site for clinical research, offering the latest advancing therapies for dementia, neurodegenerative diseases and all neurologic disorders.
The Biggs Institute will share space in the Center for Brain Health with the Department of Neurology of UT Health’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, the release said.
“It will also be a major U.S. center in the recruitment of Hispanics into clinical trials, expanding our nation’s understanding of how these diseases specifically affect them,” Seshadri said in a statement.
According to the release, the five-level, 103,500-square-foot Center for Brain Health will feature 75 exam rooms, 50 faculty offices, a 12-chair non-oncology infusion center and an outpatient pharmacy.
UT Health San Antonio officials also said the Biggs Institute, in collaboration with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, attained in 2021 premier designation by the National Institute on Aging as an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, allowing Biggs to conduct clinical trials at Center for Brain Health.
The release said current trials are enrolling eligible participants who are healthy volunteers, have mild cognitive impairment, or have a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease or advanced Alzheimer’s. Call 210-567-8229 or visit https://biggsinstitute.org/clinical-trials for details.