Discovery by CCNA Researchers: Markers of Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment Found in Human Saliva

Researchers within the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) have identified markers in human saliva that indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Drs. Roger Dixon and Liang Li specialize in biomarker research in aging and dementia. In other words, they work with people who are aging to identify whether there are substances in their bodies that indicate the presence of a specific disease or infection. For this study, they worked with three groups of patients – who are living with AD, MCI, or have unimpaired cognition. To identify markers of the diseases or changes over time, Dixon and Li examined 6000+ metabolites (which are substances that are formed in, or necessary for, metabolism). They did this using a mass spectrometer, which is an apparatus that separates isotopes, molecules, and molecular fragments based on their mass. Their discovery – of three biomarkers that can detect AD and MCI – may lead to the development of a saliva test that can diagnose the diseases in the future.

Parkinson’s disease: new research on the role of cognition and sex differences

This guest blog was written by CCNA researchers Ashley Curtis, Mario Masellis, Richard Camicioli, Heather Davidson, and Mary Tierney Parkinson’s disease (PD) mainly affects the body’s motor system. It’s symptoms – which result from the long-term degeneration of the central nervous system – occur over time and include shaking, difficulty walking, slow movements, and rigidity….

New Fund to Help Support People Living with Dementia

“Through our consultations, we heard from stakeholders, people living with dementia, as well as their family or friend caregivers. Many expressed a need for collaboration and partnership, information sharing, scaling up of best practices, and measures that address stigma. I am confident that through the Dementia Community Investment fund, we can learn more and implement effective approaches to supporting optimal quality of life for those living with dementia and their family or friend caregivers.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health Canada

“Do What is Best for Me”

Our researchers were featured in a Radio Canada 5-part documentary series, “Do what is best for me”. Inspired by her mother’s experience, Marie-France Bazzo explores the evolution of Alzheimer’s and its impact on those who are diagnosed and their care partners. We invite you to listen (available in French only).



The CCNA’s Researchers Continue to Influence National Policy in lead-up to Phase II

On May 14-15, 2018 select members of the CCNA’s leadership participated in the National Dementia Conference: Inspiring and Informing a National Dementia Strategy for Canada. Among other key priorities – i.e. support, care, stigma reduction, and education – they emphasized the need for the federal government to earmark a Dementia Breakthrough Fund to support Canadian research on dementia,…

Podcast Featuring Dr. Carol Greenwood: “What’s good for the body is good for the brain”

In a recent podcast with the Alternative Food Network (AFN), the CCNA’s nutrition expert, Dr. Carol Greenwood discussed how good nutrition throughout the lifespan supports the health of the body and the brain. What does a healthy diet include? According to Greenwood’s research, a Mediterranean diet of lean proteins (like fish), complex carbohydrates (like lentils),…