Browsed by
Tag: ASRP

Research Video Series: Introducing Stephanie Chamberlain

Research Video Series: Introducing Stephanie Chamberlain


Trained as a personal support worker in long-term care, Stephanie Chamberlain is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Alberta. There, she is assessing the impact of court-appointed public guardianship on the health and care needs of long-term care residents. Stephanie is the Alzheimer Society Research Program’s first Revera Scholar.

It is essential that we improve quality of life and quality of care to those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia because how we treat a life that has been lived is reflective of our essential humanity.
-Stephanie Chamberlain

Stephanie Chamberlain

Revera Scholar Doctoral Award in Alzheimer’s disease (Quality of Life) – $66,000
Project: Unrepresented older adults: The impact of public guardianship on resident health and care needs in long-term care

Read about more of our grants and awards recipients here.

Introducing the 2015 Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) Community Representatives / Des représentants de la collectivité participent au Programme de recherche de la Société Alzheimer (PRSA)

Introducing the 2015 Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) Community Representatives / Des représentants de la collectivité participent au Programme de recherche de la Société Alzheimer (PRSA)

This year the Alzheimer Society celebrates 27 years of funding research through the Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP). The peer review panel meetings were held in February 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, and included the role of Community Representatives.

Community Representatives are members of the general public who are not currently involved with research who are given the opportunity to comment on the intent, purpose and on the clarity of the language used within the lay summaries of research applications that are received by the Society. Their involvement in peer review serves as a mechanism for public accountability by providing feedback on the ASRP peer review process.

It is with great pleasure that we introduce our 2015 Community Representatives:

“I was given the chance to understand the peer review process and the Alzheimer society’s involvement in research when I reviewed as a community representative. Being a part of the process meant a lot to me. The different abstracts read were very helpful to me because it gave me hope about my husband who has MCI, some of which may help him someday.  Also, the doctors we met were all very professional and ethical, open and friendly. As a caregiver I found the peer review process to be a learning experience; I got to learn about interesting abstracts and research about MCI/Alzheimer’s disease/Dementia.

Funding research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is important to me because there is a need for early diagnosis, understanding the cause of Alzheimer’s and treatment for the different types of dementias. Hopefully my husband and children and others will benefit from this research.”

-Lydia Watts, 2015 Community Representative, Biomedical Peer Review Panel

Lydia is the primary caregiver to her husband, Bruce, who has Mild Cognitive Impairment. She is a retired medical technologist and now enjoys volunteering and her hobbies include beading and taking online courses.

Bruce-and-Lydia-Watts
“This has been a rewarding and interesting experience. It is encouraging to hear how much research and development there is to control the advancement and perhaps eventually cure this devastating disease. Everyone we met at this conference are very friendly, open and encouraging people all working together with a similar goal – to beat this disease and improve our quality of life. Having an opportunity to comment on the research left me feeling heard and understood for the input I was given the chance to offer.

As a person living with dementia I found the peer review process to be an important and worthwhile endeavour and time well spent.

Funding research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is important to me because research is finding a way to control and eventually cure Alzheimer’s and MCI is important now and for future generations.”

-Bruce Watts, 2015 Community Representative, Biomedical Peer Review Panel

Bruce is living with Mild Cognitive Impairment and is supported by his wife Lydia and family. He is a retired medical technologist. His hobbies include photography.

 

Gail“This has been a positive and encouraging experience. I am impressed with the variety of proposals and the thorough and detailed process used to make decisions. The discussions were clear and lively and people were patient yet challenging.

As a person living with dementia I found the peer review process to be encouraging and thorough.

Funding research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is important to me because I hope they will find a cure. As well it will provide different and new ways to deal with the disease. I am particularly interested in long term care.”

-Gail Reid, 2015 Community Representative, Quality of Life Peer Review Panel

Gail is living with Alzheimer’s disease. She formerly worked as a social worker, magazine editor and writer.

 

Sandi“I am honoured and pleased to play a small part on this panel.As a person living with dementia I found the peer review process to be very formative and interesting.

Funding research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is important to me because with the aging population there is a great need.”

-Sandi Matchett, 2015 Community Representative, Quality of Life Peer Review Panel

Sandi is living with dementia. She is a former graphic designer who enjoys water colour painting and playing tennis.

**********************************************************************************************

Le Programme de recherche de la Société Alzheimer finance la recherche depuis maintenant 27 ans. Des représentants de la collectivité ont participé aux réunions des comités d’évaluation par des pairs, qui ont eu lieu en février 2015 à Toronto (Ontario).

Les représentants de la collectivité sont des membres du grand public qui ne participent pas actuellement à la recherche. Ils donnent leurs commentaires sur les intentions et les objectifs des projets de recherche soumis et sur la clarté du langage utilisé dans les résumés simplifiés. Leur contribution au processus d’évaluation par des pairs fournit un mécanisme de reddition de comptes auprès du public.

Nous sommes très heureux de vous présenter nos représentants de la collectivité pour 2015.

« À titre de représentante de la collectivité, j’ai eu la chance de comprendre le fonctionnement du processus d’évaluation par des pairs et les modalités de participation de la Société Alzheimer à la recherche. Cela a été très important pour moi de participer à ce processus. Les divers résumés que j’ai lus m’ont donné beaucoup d’espoir pour mon mari qui est atteint d’un trouble cognitif léger. Certains des projets soumis pourraient un jour ou l’autre lui venir en aide. Tous les médecins que j’ai rencontrés ont fait preuve d’éthique et de professionnalisme, en plus d’être très ouverts et sympathiques. Le processus d’évaluation par des pairs m’a permis d’enrichir mes connaissances à titre d’aidante. J’ai appris beaucoup à la lecture des résumés de recherche sur les troubles cognitifs légers, la maladie d’Alzheimer et les maladies apparentées.

Le financement de la recherche sur l’Alzheimer et les maladies apparentées me tient à cœur. Il est important d’établir rapidement le diagnostic et de trouver les causes de ces maladies afin de mettre au point un traitement. J’espère que mon mari, mes enfants et d’autres personnes pourront en profiter »

– Lydia Watts, représentante de la collectivité, comité d’évaluation par les pairs, volet biomédical

Mme Watts est l’aidante principale de son mari, Bruce, atteint d’un trouble cognitif léger. Technologiste médicale à la retraite, elle aime faire du bénévolat, broder et suivre des cours en ligne.

Bruce-and-Lydia-Watts
“« Cette expérience a été très intéressante et très enrichissante. L’ampleur des recherches menées actuellement pour combattre et guérir cette terrible maladie m’a beaucoup encouragé. Au cours de cette conférence, nous avons rencontré des gens sympathiques, ouverts et encourageants, qui travaillent tous ensemble à la réalisation d’un même objectif , à savoir améliorer notre qualité de vie et vaincre cette maladie. Cette chance que j’ai eue d’émettre mes commentaires sur la recherche m’a donné le sentiment d’être entendu et compris. À titre de personne atteinte d’une maladie cognitive, ma participation au processus d’évaluation par des pairs a été pour moi une activité très gratifiante.

Si nous voulons combattre l’Alzheimer et les maladies apparentées et en arriver un jour à les vaincre, il est important de poursuivre le financement de la recherche pour les personnes atteintes aujourd’hui et pour les générations futures. »

-Bruce Watts, comité d’évaluation par les pairs 2015, volet biomédical

M. Watt, technologiste médical à la retraite, est atteint d’un trouble cognitif léger. Il bénéficie du soutien de sa femme Lydia et de sa famille.

 

Gail« Cette expérience a été positive et encourageante. Je suis impressionnée par la variété des projets soumis et le processus minutieux mis en place pour prendre les décisions. Les discussions étaient animées et intéressantes, exigeantes et stimulantes.

La recherche sur l’Alzheimer et les maladies apparentées est importante pour moi parce qu’elle nous permettra de trouver de nouveaux moyens de combattre ces maladies et de découvrir un remède. Je m’intéresse particulièrement aux soins de longue durée. »

-Gail Reid, représentante du public 2015, comité d’évaluation par des pairs, volet qualité de vie

Mme Reid, qui est atteinte de la maladie d’Alzheimer, a été travailleuse sociale, rédactrice en chef d’une revue et écrivaine.

 

Sandi
« Je suis atteinte d’une maladie cognitive et je suis heureuse du petit rôle que je remplis au sein de ce comité.

Le processus d’évaluation par des pairs a pour moi été très formateur et très intéressant.

Le financement de la recherche sur l’Alzheimer et les maladies apparentées est important en raison des nouveaux besoins créés par le vieillissement de la population. »

-Sandi Matchett, comité d’évaluation par les pairs 2015, volet qualité de vie

Mme Matchett, représentante de la collectivité, est atteinte d’une maladie cognitive. Graphiste à la retraite, elle aime l’aquarelle et le tennis.

Alzheimer Society Research Program funds 29 projects, worth $3.3M

Alzheimer Society Research Program funds 29 projects, worth $3.3M

Researchers from across Canada received more than $3 million this year from the Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) to improve the lives of those with dementia.

“Our country boasts some of the world’s best researchers and the Society is committed to supporting them,” says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. “Their projects could fundamentally change the lives of people already impacted by this devastating disease and improve the outlook for those at risk.”

The ASRP is a collaborative initiative of the provincial Alzheimer Societies, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, partners and donors. This year, it distributed $3,296,656.00, for a total of 29 grants and awards. Since the program launched in 1989, it has awarded more than $43 million.

Breakthroughs in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease are desperately needed: 747,000 Canadians are living with dementia today. By 2031, that number will jump to 1.4 million.

There is still no cure. Some drugs may temporarily improve symptoms, but none can slow, stop, or reverse them. That’s why many ASRP-funded researchers are delving into the science of the brain. Their goal is to identify potential new treatments, use neuroimaging to distinguish different forms of dementia, and study how diet and other lifestyle choices may delay the disease. But because it can take decades for biomedical studies to yield results, the Alzheimer Society also funds research that can help people with dementia live well today.

Check out our researcher profiles to learn more about some of the fantastic research taking place across Canada:

Neurobiologist Dr. Gordon Glazner (based at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre in Winnipeg) is examining links between diabetes and dementia in hopes of discovering a cure.

Dr. Krista Lanctôt, a senior researcher at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Research Institute and an expert in neuropsychiatric problems, received a grant to study a drug that may safely and effectively control severe agitation in people with the disease. She is one of many ASRP-funded researchers studying issues that impact the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers, including risk factors, behavioural and cognitive changes, physical support, caregiving and health service delivery.

Frank Rudzicz is a researcher at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute with an expertise in using artificial intelligence to understand speech problems. He has designed voice-based software to “converse” with a person and assess their speech for aphasia and for language problems associated with memory loss.

Neuroscientist Kim Miredin hopes to boost “brain reserve”, the resilience of the brain despite increase damage, using a combination of using a combination of cognitive training and drugs. The more brain reserve we have, the better our brains cope, despite increased damage. It’s been linked to the brain’s ability to form new connections among neurons to make up for lost ones.

 Marinko Sarunic, a biomedical engineer at Simon Fraser University, and his team aim to better understand the link between changes in the eye and the plaque build-up we see in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research suggests that this buildup of plaque also happens in the retina, the back of the eye where light-sensitive cells trigger the images we see. They hope to use this better understanding to provide early diagnoses and speed up drug testing.

Learn more about the Alzheimer Society Research Program and how you can help us to shed light and hope on dementia at www.alzheimer.ca.

Quality of life research takes centre stage at the 2013 Canadian Conference on Dementia

Quality of life research takes centre stage at the 2013 Canadian Conference on Dementia

Earlier this October, 480 attendees gathered at the Weston Bayshore Hotel in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia for the 7th Canadian Conference on Dementia. Dynamic speakers from Canada and the US known throughout the world were featured in 11 plenary sessions, 4 groups of 3 parallel sessions and 11 concurrent workshops over the 3 days; as well as 6 new and notable oral presentations from young investigators and 55 poster presentations which graced the upper halls of the hotel.

Dr. Sandra Black
Dr. Sandra Black, former ASRP Research Grant recipient

Day 1 began with a donor breakfast hosted by the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia. An intimate group of approximately 30 donors eagerly awaited the arrival of Dr. Sandra Black, Head of the Division of Neurology at Sunnybrook Hospital and Professor of Neurology at the University of Toronto. She shared her perspective on the importance of clinical research today and encouraged everyone to engage in heart healthy activities such as exercise and aerobics, reminding us that mid-life hypertension affects the brain and can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. She also spoke about the importance of keeping socially engaged which will help the brain to remain active.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Robin Hsiung
Dr. Robin Hsiung, ASRP Research Grant recipient

Following her presentation, we had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Robin Hsiung, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of British Columbia and staff Neurologist at the University of British Columbia Hospital Clinic for Alzheimer and Related Disorders. Dr. Hsiung is also a 2013 Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) Research Grant recipient. He articulately spoke about his current research, using MRI scans and biomarkers that measure physiological changes within the brains of those who engage in exercise therapy. This research will help to identify how exercise can be used to slow the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

 

 

The focus of presentations later that evening was on the impact of music and art on dementia. Dr. Nina Kraus from Northwestern University spoke about music and the mind followed by Dr. Peter Whitehouse who discussed dementia and the therapeutic impact of the arts.

These presentations were followed by the poignant video “Alive Inside” which shares the story of a determined social worker who uses personalized music to unlock memories of individuals living with dementia.

Day 2 included compelling sessions like Developing and Implementing Provincial Alzheimer Strategies: Lessons Learned from the Quebec Alzheimer Plan by Dr. Howard Bergman of McGill University and the captivating Care Planning in Dementia: Who and How? presented by Dr. Paige Moorhouse of Dalhousie University.

The sessions for the day concluded with an intriguing debate between Dr. Peter Whitehouse and Dr. Randall Bateman entitled Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease is Best Practice. After listening to the debate, the audience, through a round of applause, showed the greatest support for Dr. Bateman’s position, which was in favour of early diagnosis.

Joshua Armstrong
Joshua Armstrong, ASRP Post Doctoral Fellow

Day 3 was the final day of the conference. The new and notable oral presentations took place on this day, which featured post-doctoral fellow, funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program, Joshua Armstrong, of Dalhousie University, who spoke about Frailty in Relation to Late-Life Cognition: Initial Results from the Honolulu-Asian Aging Study.

Also presented on this day was a symposium entitled: A Person-Centered Approach to Dementia Care, which was one of the main highlights of the conference. The panel included:

  • Dr. Elisabeth J. Drance, a geriatric psychiatrist from the University of British Columbia
  • Mary Schulz, Director of Information, Support Services and Education at the Alzheimer Society of Canada who spoke about the culture change initiative which is underway to make the person centred approach, “the norm” within long term care homes
  • Elizabeth Kelson, a post-doctoral fellow from the University of British Columbia who spoke about residents’ opinions and experiences of unstructured activities
  • Jim Mann an individual living with Alzheimer’s disease since 2007 and a Board member of the Alzheimer Society of Canada
  • Gary Grais, a retired professional engineer who provided his perspective as a caregiver to his wife Barbara who has been living with Alzheimer’s disease for the past 7 years.
Panel : A Person-Centered Approach to Dementia Care
Panel : A Person -Centered Approach to Dementia Care

 

This panel was the first of its kind within this conference as it allowed for the voice of an individual living with Alzheimer’s disease, Jim Mann as well as a caregiver, Gary Grais, to be heard They both shared their own personal experiences living with the disease.The symposium began with a poem which was read by Mary Shultz, entitled

 

 

 

Take my Hand – I Don’t Remember the Way” written by caregiver, Cher McGlynn

If I mix up my words and refer to the mailman as the ‘snowman’
Will you laugh at me, ridicule, or correct me?
If I tell you I have ‘chicken bumps’ all over my arms,
Will you know I mean goosebumps and that I’m cold?
If I look afraid and ask you where my mom and dad are
Will you reassure me or tell me that they died long ago?
If I’m crying or screaming because I am so frightened of the thunder
Will you console me or tell me to “Get to bed and get to sleep!”?
When I go to bed, will you leave me in the pitch black and shut the door
Or will you ask me or my family how I used to like to sleep?

Jim Mann, living with Alzheimer's disease
Jim Mann, living with Alzheimer’s disease

Jim eloquently spoke about his experiences living with the disease to date. He shared some examples of healthcare staff who would demand that he attend a medical examination alone, or insist that he write the date on medical forms by himself, at which point he had to remind them that he has Alzheimer’s disease, and requires assistance from his wife.

Gary Grais
Gary Grais, Caregiver

Gary also spoke about his personal experiences in providing support to his wife Barbara. He was brought to tears as he described the challenges that he has been faced with, where his wife’s condition has progressed to the point where they are no longer able to engage in meaningful conversation.  His closing message urged the audience to give their husbands and wives a big hug following the conference and to let them know how thankful we are for them, while they are still with us in body and in mind.

This extraordinary panel demonstrated the immediate need for a person-centred approach to be carried out within our medical practices and in real-world settings, for people like Jim, Gary and his wife Barbara. They received a standing ovation that morning, as the perspectives that they shared were a true reflection of the reality that is faced in dealing with this degenerative disease and it was a reminder to us that through a person-centred approach, great hope exists for us all. 

 

NaliniNalini Sen

Research Program Director

Alzheimer Society of Canada

 

Dr. Lagace: could newborn neurons one day treat dementia?

Dr. Lagace: could newborn neurons one day treat dementia?

I remember as a graduate student at Dalhousie University, I saw the play, The Bear Came Over the Mountain. It’s the classic play about Alzheimer’s disease based on Alice Munroe’s book.

For a long time afterwards, I thought about people affected by this disease and what their lives were like. It really touched me.

Later, when my grandmother went into a nursing home after her stroke, I started to see residents there who were living with Alzheimer’s disease.

I couldn’t help but think about how great it would be if I could do something to promote their recovery, to help them regain their ability to learn and remember.

It’s exciting to be in the lab. I love the thrill of discovery and being the first to find out things.  But what really motivates me is the hope that my research into how neurons are born in adult brains might one day lead to new treatments.

While the brain is probably the most complicated organ in our bodies, we are learning more and more about it.

For example, we know newborn neurons in adult brains are key to learning and memory. So it would make me very happy if I could figure out how to promote the birth of new neurons in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn more about Dr. Diane Legace’s exciting research or other researchers we fund.

Diane Lagace U of Ottawa neuroscientist - may 2013Dr. Diane Lagace

University of Ottawa

Funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program

26th Annual Alzheimer Society Research Program competition has launched!

26th Annual Alzheimer Society Research Program competition has launched!

We are very excited to announce the launch of our 26th annual Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) competition!

The program, established in 1989, has contributed over $40 million to support hundreds of researchers from across Canada, including some of today’s superstar Alzheimer’s researchers (not that we’re bragging).

Here’s how it works:

The Competition

The competition is launched once a year, usually in September, and remains open for two months. A “launch” means that the online application system becomes available to applicants so that they can submit their research proposals (a description of what they hope to accomplish and how they plan to do it) to be considered for funding. Funding allows investigators to support themselves while they carry out their work and to cover the expenses of doing research.

Once the competition is closed, submissions are reviewed to ensure they fit the eligibility criteria and all applicants are notified regarding the status of their application (whether it has been accepted or not). Then they wait…

The Review Panels

Meanwhile, two panels of experts are recruited to review the applications: the Biomedical panel and the Quality of Life panel. These panels reflect the two research streams that applicants submit proposals to.

The Biomedical stream focuses on research into basic biological mechanisms related to brain changes associated with the disease and into the identification of therapeutic agents to combat the disease.

The Quality of Life stream focuses on research into aspects of dementia care, support and means to improve the way care is experienced by people with dementia living in long term care homes, and their families.

The Peer Review Process

Reviewers are matched to applications according to their expertise. The responsibility of the reviewer is to evaluate the proposal based on its scientific merit, novelty, relevance to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and to provide a score from 0-4.9. Each application is assigned two reviewers and both scores are shared with the rest of the panel for further discussion during a roundtable, face-to-face meeting organized by the Alzheimer Society. Each member of the panel scores the application, unless they are in conflict of interest with the investigator or institution.

Immediately following the panel meetings, scores are calculated by ASC and a rank order of applications is presented along with the budget, to the Research Policy Committee and then to the Board of Directors for approval.

The Results

Once the recipients are approved, they are notified of the results in Spring of the year following the competition deadline.

With the generous support of our donors and our provincial partners, we were able to award $4.5 million dollars of funding to 38 investigators in last year’s competition. This is a record number for the Alzheimer Society and we are hopeful that this year’s results will be even better.

Learn more about the Alzheimer Society Research Program.
Learn more about how to apply for the competition.

If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact our Research team: research@alzheimer.ca.

kayaKaya Borowska
Coordinator, Alzheimer Society Research Program

Canadian researchers at the 2013 AAIC conference

Canadian researchers at the 2013 AAIC conference

Purple flags graced the warm and sunny streets of Boston this past July, leading to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center which welcomed 5000 men and women who traveled from over 70 countries around the globe, to attend the 2013 Alzheimer Association International Conference (AAIC). This year the AAIC celebrated 25 years of progress, change and discovery since its first conference in 1988, and hosted the largest gathering of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), dementia and neuroscience scientists in the world.

AAIC1
From left to right: Debbie Benczkowski (COO, Alzheimer Society of Canada), Mimi Lowi-Young (CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada) and Larry Chambers (Scientific Officer, Alzheimer Society of Canada) at the opening ceremonies of the 2013 AAIC.

From July 13 – 18, 2013 hundreds of brilliant minds congregated into 5 plenary sessions, 8 symposiums, 152 oral sessions and nearly 1500 poster presentations.

Each oral session involved a panel of 6 researchers ranging from undergraduate students to established experts in the field, who each had 10 minutes to speak about their research findings.

A Question and Answer period followed which engaged the audience and sparked insightful comments shared between those who dedicate their lives towards the advancement of dementia science as well as those committed to the profession of care.

Among these sessions, were 16 Canadian researchers which included the following:

  • A presentation from world- renowned expert in geriatric medicine, Kenneth Rockwood, from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia who spoke about how the clinically relevant changes within the AD assessment scale can be translated into changes in daily functions.
  • Julie Robillard, a Post-Doctoral Fellow from the University of British Columbia shared her findings on the scientific validity and ethics of online tests for AD.
  • Krista Lanctôt, a pharmacologist and neuroscientist from the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, Ontario presented on the use of visual attention in detecting apathy in AD.
  • An ASRP Biomedical Doctoral Awardee Daniel Felsky from the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, eloquently shared his findings on the Effects of the SORL1 Alzheimer’s Risk Gene Across the Human Lifespan.
  • An impressive presentation was also delivered by a second year, undergraduate student Cassandra Anor from the University of Toronto, who shared findings on the comparison of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with AD and vascular dementia.

 

Throughout the week, the main exhibit hall was lined with over 100 booths from research funders including CIHR and the Alzheimer Association to pharmaceutical companies like Novartis Pharma AG, who had a booth that included a delightful barista who served hot cappuccino and scrumptious chocolate chip cookies daily.

Poster presentations also occurred in this space, and each day over 300 international researchers shared their findings through posters which were affixed to portable walls that had been set up throughout the exhibition hall. This evoked intriguing discussion related to the groundbreaking ideas and theories that were being shared.

Among these presenters were 75 Canadians which included:

AAIC2An Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP), Quality of Life, Post-Doctoral Awardee, Joshua Armstrong from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who looked at the relationship between frailty and cognition in older Japanese American men, using data that has been collected in the Honolulu-Asian Aging Study.

 

 

 

 

AAIC3

Vandal Milene from the University of Laval in Quebec City, Quebec, presented her researched which was supported by the ASRP. Her project looks at how older age may lead to deficits in thermoregulation which may accelerate the progression of AD and likewise considered the parallel affect of AD progression contributing to the body’s inability to regulate its temperature.

 

 

 

 

AAIC4

Melissa Dion an ASRP Quality of Life, Doctoral Awardee from the University of Laval in Quebec City, Quebec, presented on the association between subjective cognitive decline and depressive symptoms in individuals who are at risk developing  AD.

 

 

 

 

 

AAIC5

Alexandre Dal-Pan an ASRP Biomedical, Post-Doctoral Fellow from the University of Laval , Quebec City, Quebec, presented on his study which provided a mechanistic explanation for the lack of benefit of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in APOE4 carriers on cognitive function and the risk of AD.

 

 

 

 

 

AAIC6Meryam Lebbadi from the University of Laval,Quebec City, Quebec, presented on a project funded by the ASRP, which looked at a comparison between eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in an animal model of AD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

zskjpg
Photo: Alzpossible.org

In addition to these presentations we had the privilege of participating in the International Alzheimer Disease Research Funder Consortium Meeting which included a presentation from Dr. Zaven Khachaturian, a neuroscientist and pioneer in Alzheimer’s disease research, also known as the Father of Alzheimer’s Research in the US. Dr. Khachaturian provided an inspirational presentation on the need to promote policies that will improve economic and social well-being internationally, as it relates to Alzheimer Disease.

 

 

 

AAIC7

We also attended the International Research Teams of the CIHR International Collaborative Research Strategy for Alzheimer’s disease where we listened to extraordinary updates from the various groups. Our CEO, Mimi Lowi-Young also presented on Future International Activities related to Alzheimer Disease International

In collaboration with CIHR, ASC co-hosted the Reception for Canadian Researchers and international Partners which engaged participants in rich dialogue involving AD and dementia research.

 

 

AAIC8
From left to right: Dr. Ron Peterson (2013 Recipient of the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award, received during AAIC), Dr. Richard Hodes (Director of National Institute on Aging) , Dr. B. Lynn Beattie (Chair of the ASC Research Policy Committee), Dr. Yves Joannette (Scientific Director, Institute of Aging, CIHR), Mimi-Lowi-Young (CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada), Dr. Philip Amouyel (CEO of the French National Research Foundation on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, in France)

AAIC9

ASC also co-hosted the Early Career Research Reception with the Alzheimer Association, CIHR, NIA and NIH. This reception provided an opportunity for students and young investigators to learn more about funding opportunities that are available and to network with other researchers.

Attending the Early Career Research Reception were ASRP Doctoral Award recipient Daniel Felsky from the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario and Post-Doctoral Award recipient Chenjie Xia, from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

Today the number of people living with Alzheimer Disease in the US is 5.2 million, and in Canada it is  747,000. Despite the alarming statistics associated with this degenerative disease, the revolutionary research that is being conducted by the thousands of dedicated individuals who commit their lives to providing a better future for people impacted by the disease brings hope. After meeting with, and listening to the brilliant researchers who are passionate about their investigations and are striving to achieve breakthroughs in their work, even at the most microscopic level, makes me believe that our dream for a future without Alzheimer Disease…will certainly become a reality.

 

NaliniNalini Sen

Research Program Director

Alzheimer Society of Canada

 

The Alzheimer Society Research Program: Helping research happen across Canada

The Alzheimer Society Research Program: Helping research happen across Canada

In January and February of this year, scientists from across Canada and the United States descended upon Toronto to participate in the annual peer review meetings of the Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP). Their task: to critique research proposals that had been submitted to the ASRP by Canadian students, young investigators and established researchers; and to decide which projects will be funded by evaluating them on the basis of scientific merit, novelty and relevance to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

As I sat there listening to both the Biomedical and Quality of Life panels debate topics that would make many of my former professors shed a proud tear, I thought to myself: I’m so glad they know what they’re talking about. The excitement, breadth of knowledge and compassion that panel members bring to the table each year is infectious. It makes me want to run to the nearest university, get a PhD, become an Alzheimer’s researcher and change the world.

There is an obvious hunger for dementia research. This is evidenced by the fact that

  • the number of applications to the ASRP grows each year
  • there are new investigators entering the field from other disciplines
  • many of the scientists we have funded re-apply to the program and
  • we receive applications the world over, from students who want to come to Canada to study.


What is obvious as well is that there is not enough money to fund this research.

This year, the ASRP will fund 38 investigators, investing a record $4 million, including $1 million from the help of our partner, Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee. With the additional help of the Firefly Foundation and Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation, the total will grow to $4.5 million. We are proud of this achievement and hope to keep the momentum going so that one day, each researcher seeking funds for a worthy project will have a chance to make his or her own contribution to the field.

Wouldn’t that be something?

Learn more about each of the 2013 ASRP recipients or find out more about the ASRP at alzheimer.ca/research.

kayaKaya Borowska
Coordinator, Alzheimer Society Research Program