Dementia researcher shares personal connection to the disease at upcoming event
Guest speaker Dr. Robin Hsiung will share insight into ground-breaking dementia research at Vancouver’s Breakfast to Remember, Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 7-9 a.m. at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. The event, a breakfast in support of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., is an opportunity for business leaders to raise awareness and funds for dementia. Since entering the field of dementia research, Dr. Hsiung’s work has become personal: his father developed the disease.
Dr. Hsiung is Associate Professor in the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia and staff neurologist at the UBC Hospital Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders at St. Paul’s Hospital. His research has yielded promising results, including discovery of genetic risks associated with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia, as well as development of biomarkers and clinical assessment tools to recognize the earliest phases of dementia. Dr. Hsiung, who is the latest recipient of the Ralph Fisher and Alzheimer Society of B.C. Professorship in Alzheimer Disease Research, provides leadership on clinical trials that investigate cutting-edge therapies for the disease at various stages.
Dr. Hsiung has been able to reflect his first-hand experience of dementia, and the interpersonal issues that may arise, in the way he works with people living with dementia and their families in the clinic. While his expertise in the field meant that Dr. Hsiung was able to confirm his father’s diagnosis through all the biomarker tests currently available, he still struggled – like any other family member might – with the reality of his once-vibrant parent living in care and ultimately dying from the disease. Because he works in the field of genetics, he is very aware of his own risk now.
“I am acutely aware that one day, I will very likely need the treatments myself,” he says. “So this research has become somewhat personal.”
In 2017 Breakfast to Remember events in Vancouver and Victoria generated more than $212,000 for vital programs and services, advocacy and research to find a cure. Full details and ticket sales can be found here.