022321_healthbriefs

Gwen Pacella

Counselor joins

Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle Counseling recently welcomed Gwen Pacella, licensed master’s social worker, to its clinical staff. She attended the College of William and Mary for her undergraduate degree and the University of South Carolina for a master’s degree in social work. Her previous work experiences include serving as a psychotherapist at St. Simons By The Sea on St Simons Island and as an oncology Social Worker at the Lexington Medical Center in Columbia, S.C.

Pacella has a passion for working with children, adolescents, as well as those with disordered eating habits.

She is a St. Simons Island native. She has two teenagers attending Glynn County Schools, and her husband is a local practicing attorney.

To schedule an appointment, call 912-268-4750 Emerald Isle Counseling: offices in Brunswick, St. Simons Island and Kingsland.

Gateway receives grant from AFA

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has awarded a $50,000 research grant to the Gateway Community Service Board in Brunswick to help fund a study exploring the links between behavior and cognitive function — with the goal of finding new ways to predict and detect cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses sooner, when therapeutic interventions and lifestyle modifications are more effective.

The study examines the relationship between behavioral impairment and early markers of cognitive decline using the Mild Behavioral Impairment (MBI) scale. MBI measures five components: apathy (impaired drive/motivation); mood and anxiety; inhibition/self-regulation (agitation, impulse control problems); impaired social cognition (social inappropriateness); and psychosis (abnormal thoughts/perception). The study also explores the impact of COVID-19 anxiety on MBI, as well as the mediating influences of factors such as lifestyle, exercise, sleep, social supports and overall health.

Gateway Community Service Board is a public community-based organization serving eight Georgia counties: Glynn, Camden, McIntosh, Liberty, Chatham, Bryan, Long and Effingham.

AFA is able to award research grants through the generosity of individuals and organizations. Those wishing to support AFA can do so by visiting www.alzfdn.org/donate. One hundred percent of all donations designated for research go exclusively toward finding more effective treatment and a cure.

— The Brunswick News

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