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Groundbreaking Initiative for Alzheimer’s Research in Canada

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerSeptember 29, 2014

The fight against Alzheimer’s disease is a global one. Knowing no nationality or religion, dementia rages on across the world, and Canada is no exception. Facing the crisis head on, Canada has launched a multi-million dollar initiative that will involve top researchers across the world.

The prevention of brain disease, treating existing diseases, and improving the quality of life for those who live with the disease will all be examined. Learn more about this groundbreaking initiative.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s in Canada

The looming Alzheimer’s epidemic is a global problem and one that Canada is well aware of.  A 2012 study from the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada showed that:

  • There are currently 747,000 people living with cognitive impairment
  • The number of people living with cognitive impairment is expected to double to 1.4 million by 2031
  • The current cost of dementia is estimated to be $33 billion
  • It is estimated that by the year 2040, dementia will cost Canada $293 billion
  • Since 2006, the government has invested over $860 million to support neuroscience research

There is no doubt that Canadians are feeling the devastating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

New Initiative Faces the Global Epidemic

In response to the neurodegenerative crisis facing the country, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research has launched a national initiative that will bring together 340 researchers from across the country. The initiative is called the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) and plans to address the crisis head on. Over 20 research teams will be focused on three themes:

  • Finding ways to delay the onset of dementia
  • Disease prevention
  • Improving the quality of life for those living with these diseases, their families and their caregivers

For researcher and psychology professor Karen Li, improving the quality of life for people living with these diseases is just as important as finding a cure saying:

“The unique thing about the CCNA is how much attention is being paid to quality-of-life issues. Those questions are much more likely to deliver quick outcomes and impact the lives of Canadians here and now.”

The CCNA will receive $31.5 million over a five year period from the Government of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as well as 13 other partners from both the public and private sector. In addition, partners in Quebec and Ontario are providing $24 million in support of the initiative.

The Honorable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the launch of the initiative saying:

“Our Government is proud to be making this significant investment to face the global dementia challenge with over fourteen provincial, public and private partners. The large consortium announced today will accelerate innovative and collaborative research to make a difference in the quality of life and the quality of services for Canadians affected by these diseases. With the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, we are joining forces with our international counterparts to support additional research with a view to finding a cure for dementia by 2025.”

Do you think this initiative will revolutionize Alzheimer’s research? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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