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, channeled through the CCNA. Growing our influence to impact policy and care through collaborative research, three CCNA researchers were invited to be part of the to advise the Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, on matters related to the health of people living with dementia, their families and caregivers. To read the report from this conference, click here.
More recently, during the CCNA’s – held in Montreal, Quebec from Oct 1-3, 2018 – members and partner organization representatives received national dementia policy updates from Anna Romano (Director General, Centre for Health Promotion at the Public Health Agency of Canada). Romano emphasized the vital importance of research in informing Canada’s national strategy and the need to take a whole of government approach that includes (but is not limited to) the perspectives of health professionals, Indigenous community members, and roundtables facilitated by the CCNA’s partner organization the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
As the CCNA applies for a planned phase II (anticipated to begin in April, 2019), the leadership and partner organizations will continue to emphasize research in prevention, treatment, and quality of life issues – many of which are being studied within the CCNA signature study, COMPASS-ND. This holistic approach is consistent with the 2018 World Alzheimer Report, The state of the art of dementia research: New Frontiers. Released by Alzheimer’s Disease International, this report looks at a broad cross-section of research areas, including basic science; diagnosis; drug discovery; risk reduction; and epidemiology.
“This is indeed a critical decade for progress in neurodegenerative diseases. We believe that using the infrastructure and teams created within the CCNA, and with sufficient financial support from the government, we can make meaningful progress in treating and preventing dementia and improving the quality of life of people with illnesses causing dementia in Canada.” Dr. Howard Chertkow, Scientific Director Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging