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Category: Research

Research Video Series: Introducing Sharon Koehn

Research Video Series: Introducing Sharon Koehn

Too often, immigrants in Canada don’t receive the help and support they need because of barriers like language and culture.

That’s why Dr. Sharon Koehn from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, is on a mission to identify ways to foster relationships of trust among immigrants affected by dementia and encourage them to reach out to multicultural agencies.

Living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is hard enough; it’s essential that we ensure that we don’t make it even harder by not paying attention to how and if people access appropriate information and care.
-Dr. Sharon Koehn

Dr. Sharon Koehn

Quality of Life Grant Recipient in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – $119,623
Project: Building trust to facilitate access to dementia care for immigrant older adults: the role of the multicultural services sector.

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

You can be that one to make a difference

You can be that one to make a difference

Did you know that over 210,000 people in Ontario are living with dementia? That over 564,000 Canadians are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia today? We all know, or know of, someone affected by this disease. They are our neighbours, our friends, our grandparents and our uncles. They are someone in our life, and they are more than just a number.

You can be that one to make a difference in the lives of those affected by dementia. By donating today, you can help fund research to find treatments, and even a cure, for this disease. You can help fund programs that support people with dementia and their caregivers, and help improve quality of life.

For people like Amir, your support means the world.

Here is his story:

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Research Video Series: Introducing Dr. Edith Hamel

Research Video Series: Introducing Dr. Edith Hamel


Dr. Edith Hamel’s research focuses on the supply of blood to the brain, which is so important as the brain doesn’t have a reserve of oxygen and glucose – the main fuel for neurons. This project could uncover ways to slow down the progression of vascular dementia, possibly through the use of therapies already available for the treatment of diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Dr. Hamel is a professor at McGill University in Montreal.

I strongly believe that real possibilities exist to prevent or delay the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia.
-Dr. Edith Hamel

Dr. Edith Hamel

Biomedical Grant Recipient in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – $150,000
Project: Role of compromised cerebral circulation in susceptibility to cognitive failure.

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

Research Video Series: Introducing Iva Brunec

Research Video Series: Introducing Iva Brunec


Iva Brunec is investigating how memories about the duration and order of events are created in healthy brains, and how this ability changes in those at risk for dementia. Is the ability to encode and recall information about time one of the first functions to break down with Alzheimer’s disease? Does it affect other aspects of memory as a result? This research aims to provide evidence of a sensitive indicator before a diagnosis of dementia even occurs.

Investigating these disorders and aiming to understand what causes them, how they progress, and how they may be alleviated or prevented could enrich the lives of not only those living with dementia but also the networks of their families and caregivers.
-Iva Brunec

Iva Brunec

Biomedical Doctoral Award Recipient in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia – $66,000
Project: Investigating the hippocampal role in encoding temporal information as a possible

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

Research Video Series: Introducing Hadir AlQot

Research Video Series: Introducing Hadir AlQot


Hadir AlQot aims to further our knowledge and understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, she aims to investigate a novel aspect of the cholinergic system and its vulnerability in Alzheimer’s disease in relation to key pathological features and cognitive decline. Hadir AlQot is doctoral student at the University of Western Ontario.

It is my hope that this research will help unravel potential novel therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
-Hadir AlQot

Hadir AlQot

Biomedical Doctoral Award Recipient in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – $66,000
Project: The functional role of nuclear 82-kDa ChAT in APP metabolism and its potential neuroprotective significance

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

Research Video Series: Introducing Dr. Lisa M. Munter

Research Video Series: Introducing Dr. Lisa M. Munter


Dr. Lisa M. Munter will be investigating a novel aspect of the cholesterol metabolism with respect to Alzheimer’s disease. Her goal is to understand how dietary cholesterol affects generation of harmful amyloid peptides. She hopes to reveal whether certain lipoprotein particles of the blood may trigger amyloid generation in the brain. Dr. Munter is a researcher and professor at McGill University and the recipient of an ASRP biomedical grant.

A long and prosperous life should end with human dignity.
-Dr. Lisa M. Munter

Dr. Lisa M. Munter

Biomedical Grant Recipient in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – $150, 000
Project: Peripheral and central pathways of cholesterol-induced Alzheimer’s disease pathology

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

Dementia and air pollution: should we flee to the country?

Dementia and air pollution: should we flee to the country?

Could living in a major city increase your risk of dementia? A new study suggests that may be the case.

After studying over two million Ontarians over an 11-year period, researchers found that the closer they lived to a major roadway, the more likely they were to develop dementia. Those who had lived in urban areas for a long time were even more likely to develop the condition than those who had moved more recently.

These findings suggest one culprit in particular: air pollution. Of course, the study didn’t prove that air pollution causes dementia – only that there is some sort of relationship. But this isn’t the first major study to find an association between air pollution and a decline in brain function in middle-aged and older adults.

So does this mean that we should all flock to the country? Not so fast.

The increased risk shown in the study is only slightly higher, and while these results might help us understand a bit more about what causes dementia in certain circumstances, more research needs to be done.

The “brew” of different toxins that make up air pollution make it difficult to attribute the effect to one specific factor, and there are other factors besides air pollution that may come into play.

Yet, air pollution is an area worthy of more study because it has other indirect but very important effects on the brain. Air pollution may contribute to conditions like pulmonary disease, heart disease and stroke, which we know can increase a person’s chances of developing dementia. Cardiovascular disease, in particular, can lead to vascular dementia.

While the findings of this new study are preliminary, they do have important implications for public health. We need to do more to control and reduce air pollution and protect our most vulnerable citizens.

And while we still don’t fully understand the causes of dementia, there are things we can do right now to reduce our risk. More physical activity, eating a heart-healthy diet, quitting smoking, challenging our brains and staying socially connected are all essential for brain health.

Research Video Series: Introducing Marco Prado

Research Video Series: Introducing Marco Prado


Dr. Marco Prado’s research aims to address the mechanisms by which deficient cholinergic circuits contribute to dementia. He is an Alzheimer Society Research Program Biomedical Research Grant recipient and a professor at the University of Western Ontario.

Let’s make sure that aging does not mean losing one’s identity.
-Dr. Marco Prado

Dr. Marco Prado

Biomedical Grant Recipient in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – $149,128
Project: Mechanisms of anti-cholinergic activity mediated dementia and Alzheimer’s pathology

Read about more of our grants and awards recipients here.

Research Video Series: Introducing Laura Hamilton

Research Video Series: Introducing Laura Hamilton


Dr. Laura Hamilton is testing the efficacy of a new therapeutic target (stearoyl CoA desaturase (SCD)-1) to improve learning and memory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease using a mouse model. Laura is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montréal and is this year’s Alzheimer Society Research Program Spark Award Recipient.

The potential to contribute to a better quality of life for millions of people motivates me every day.
-Dr. Laura Hamilton

Dr. Laura Hamilton

Spark Postdoctoral Fellowship in Alzheimer’s Disease (Biomedical) – $100,000
Project: Triggers and behavioural consequences of elevated oleic acid in the Alzheimer’s disease brain

Read about more of our grants and awards recipients here.