All posts by Elizabeth Doyle

Can frailty influence who gets Alzheimer’s disease?

Guest Post The following is a guest post by Lindsay Wallace, a CCNA trainee working under the supervision of Dr. Melissa Andrew.   By 2031, 1.4 million Canadians are expected to have some form of cognitive impairment.   As the leading cause of dementia, the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on those living with the illness, families, care providers, the health care system, and the economy is enormous. At a recent global meeting on dementia, former World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said she could “think of no other disease where innovation, including breakthrough discoveries to develop a cure, is Read the full article…

Supporting Older Adults with Dementia: The Decision – and Effects – of Hanging up the Keys

Guest Post The following is a guest post by Drs. Gary Naglie and Mark Rapoport lead a team of researchers within the CCNA focused on driving and dementia.    “It’s like a double, a quadruple whammy. In addition to having to deal with this illness, they’re suddenly confronted with their license being taken away.” (Social Worker)   For many older adults, driving is a crucial link to the outside world and a form of independence.   While driving is clearly a danger for people with moderate-to-severe dementia, some people with mild dementia continue to drive safely for a period of time. Read the full article…

Digital Storytelling Workshops: Strengthening Memories and Communication in Persons with Dementia

Guest Post  The following is a guest post by Elly Park, a CCNA post-doctoral trainee working under the supervision of Dr. Lili Liu. Everyone has a story to tell and memories that they want to preserve.   Technological advances have made it possible to capture our stories in many forms, relive treasured memories, and leave legacies behind. In particular, multimedia stories – which use a combination of text, video clips, audio, graphics, and photographs – enable people living with dementia to share their stories. In turn, these stories enhance our capacity to raise public awareness about what it is like Read the full article…

New Strategies to Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease through Brain Imaging

“Currently, there are no effective means to treat Alzheimer’s disease or definitely diagnose this condition during life. We have recently shown that the protein, butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) typically presents in high levels in the Alzheimer’s disease brain and is a very specific marker for the disease. We have developed a radiotracer for brain imaging that targets the BChE protein.  The brain imaging method developed in our lab may enhance the accuracy and timely detection of Alzheimer’s disease, providing the best opportunity to evaluate emerging Alzheimer’s therapies for timely disease treatment.” Dr. Sultan Darvesh   Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause Read the full article…

Supporting Dementia Caregivers who are Employed: The Reitman Centre Working Carers Program

“We’re investigating key factors that affect the practical, psychological, and social lives of Canadian family members who are employed while also providing care to a senior with dementia at home. Our goal is to understand the challenges of this dual role and respond to those challenges through validated interventions that provide the specific skills and emotional resources family members need to balance their competing concerns.” Dr. Joel Sadavoy   The Canadian healthcare system has long treated family caregivers as sources of collateral information about the ‘actual patient.’ This perception and dynamic endures, despite the fact that it has been well Read the full article…

Researchers within the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging Launch First Indigenous-Specific Dementia Health Promotion Materials in Canada

On March 27, 2017, a team of researchers within the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) disseminated the first Indigenous-specific health promotion materials available in Canada on their website, www.I-CAARE.ca.   According to the team’s principal investigator, Dr. Kristen Jacklin:   “Our previous research demonstrated a significant need for dementia health promotion materials tailored specifically for Indigenous families. There was widespread agreement that mainstream materials were ineffective. The process of developing these began in 2014 and involved significant collaborations nationally and locally. Our partnerships with agencies both locally and nationally were central to the success of this project.”   Read the full article…

Understanding Dementia: the Importance of Physical Health and Social Circumstances

“Researchers and clinicians must embrace the complexity of dementia to gain a clearer understanding of the whole person and the risks they are confronted with. This approach will have a direct impact on the quality of life and quality of care received by people living with dementia.” Dr. Melissa Andrew   Dr. Melissa Andrew’s research philosophy and clinical practice aligns with a growing conversation about the need to develop holistic treatments for dementia, and at the early stages of the disease. Treatments that take into account not just each individual’s physical condition, but also their environment and life circumstances.   Read the full article…

New Ways to investigate Dementia made possible through Engineered Human Cerebral Blood Vessels

“While the role of the brain’s blood vessels is increasingly recognized in dementia research, models that capture the normal functioning that occurs in human brains are lacking. In an effort to fill this gap, my lab bioengineered a human vascular model. Scientists will be able to use it to answer basic to translational research questions, and develop new drugs.” Dr. Cheryl Wellington   With each heartbeat, one quarter of the body’s blood supply flows to the brain.   This process – known as cerebral blood flow – delivers oxygen, simple sugars, and nutrients to the brain’s neurons. In turn, the Read the full article…

Preventative treatment for dementia tested in ground-breaking triple intervention: SYNERGIC Trial

“Our SYNERGIC Trial will support preventative treatment for dementia by showing how cognition can be improved through combining exercise with cognitive training. This will help to lay out future clinical guidelines for physicians whose patients are at risk of developing dementia. Our findings not only have the potential to improve the quality of life of older Canadians, but with each 1-year delay of progression to dementia, the Canadian health care system can save billions of dollars.” Dr. Manuel Montero Odasso  Evidence from clinical trials and studies shows a strong link between cognitive decline and mobility impairments. So much so, in Read the full article…

Dr. Alan Evans’ Research makes Discover Magazine’s “Top 100 Science Stories of 2016”

Dr. Alan Evans – who co-directs the Imaging, Database, and Information Technology platform of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) – has led a team in generating one of the top 100 stories of 2016, as featured in Discover magazine.   Discover magazine covers the latest news, theories, and developments in the world of science. Each year, they select the top 100 science stories worldwide, and this year they have featured Evans’ work on techniques developed to analyze data sets that are either so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate to deal with them. Read the full article…