2019 Funding results
We're pleased to announce the following 2019 grants and awards for the Alzheimer Society Research Program, funding Canadian researchers in the field of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias:
Areas of research:
- Aetiology (cause of dementia)
- Developing treatments
- Diagnosis and detection
- Improving care and support
- Risk and prevention
Aetiology (cause of dementia)
Gordon Francis, University of British Columbia
Title: The role of smooth muscle cell metabolism of amyloid beta in cerebral amyloid angiopathy.
“Our research will lead to a better understanding of how amyloid beta is deposited in the blood vessels of the brain. We hope that this new knowledge will improve how we prevent or reduce the build-up of plaques in the brain, ultimately reducing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.”
Lisa Marie Munter, McGill University
Title: Rhomboid protease-4 as a modulator of Alzheimer's disease pathology.
“Our project focuses on molecular changes leading to Alzheimer’s disease and will benefit dementia patients in the future."
Frédéric Calon, Université Laval
Title: Manipulating thermogenesis to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
“As the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases with age, so do the challenges with regulating body temperature. My study focuses on improving the mechanism underlying body temperature regulation to treat Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.”
Aurélie Bussy, McGill University
Title: Volumetric and microstructural changes in the hippocampus subfields across healthy aging and during Alzheimer's disease progression.
“The current work will improve our understanding of brain changes in Alzheimer's disease. This knowledge can improve our ability to engage in early intervention and treatment strategies.”
Susan Walling, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Title: Behavioural and anatomical staging of a novel rat model of pretangle Alzheimer's disease.
“We believe the knowledge gained from our work may reduce or prevent the progression of early changes in the brain that can lead to dementia and Alzheimer's disease.”
Diagnosis and detection
Laura Middleton, University of Waterloo
Title: Expanding exercise opportunities for persons with dementia: A participatory approach.
“Creating more and better exercise opportunities will increase inclusion and allow more people living with dementia to benefit physically, mentally and socially from exercise.”
Annalise D'Souza, University of Toronto
Title: The test of time: Modeling cognitive aging to detect, predict, and prevent pre-clinical dementia.
“My research will help to detect dementia early and identify treatments that can support drug therapy to improve the quality of life of people with dementia.”
Simona Brambati, Université de Montréal
Title: Quantitative assessment of speech in preclinical Alzheimer's disease.
“Language changes can help to identify patients at higher risk of developing dementia.”
Improving care and support
Stephanie Chamberlain, University of Alberta
Title: Older adults in supportive living care and their use of health services.
“Little is known about supportive living homes in Canada and their ability to provide quality care to older adults with dementia. This project will contribute to reducing unnecessary transitions for people with dementia so that they can receive high quality care.”
Arne Stinchcombe, Brock University
Title: “Will I still be gay?”: Including and supporting LGBTQ2+ persons with dementia and caregivers.
“This research will improve the quality of life for LGBTQ2+ persons with dementia and their care partners and will be used to promote inclusive dementia care and caregiver supports.”
Daniel Harris, University of Toronto
Title: Antidepressants as replacements for antipsychotics in persons with dementia? Assessing patterns of medication substitution in Ontario nursing homes.
“By identifying if antipsychotic medications are being replaced with potentially inappropriate medications, we hope to reduce unnecessary medication use among adults with dementia.”
Geneva Millett, Ryerson University
Title: A mixed methods approach to understanding the needs of socially isolated older adults and the benefits of a manualized peer-based social support program for cognitive and psychosocial health of residents with mild cognitive impairment in long-term care facilities.
“My research will demonstrate the benefits of a peer social support group on cognition and mental health for those with mild cognitive impairment who are living in long-term care.”
Jacqueline Rousseau, Université de Montréal
Title: Aging in Place – Understanding the person’s interactions with the human and nonhuman environments.
“Older adults have the right to choose their living environment. Many want to live at home but preserving their quality of life as they age can be challenging. Suggestions for adapting the home environment to make it more age-friendly will enable older adults to have meaningful choices.”
Simone Gamm, Université de Montréal
Title: The emotional experience lived by people with Alzheimer's disease: A phenomenological study.
“By better understanding the subjective experience of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, interventions can be adapted to their needs. Respectful and tailored interventions can reduce behaviours such as crying and wandering, as well as o decrease symptoms of distress, such as anxiety or insomnia. My research will also help diminish the stigma associated with Alzheimer's disease, especially among caregivers and professionals.”
Risk and prevention
Ashleigh Parker, University of Victoria
Title: Identification of earlier biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease: A neuroimaging study of individuals with subjective cognitive decline.
“My research will impact individuals at risk of developing dementia by identifying early changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
Morteza Pishnamazi, McGill University
Title: Investigation of the moderating effects of biological and lifestyle risk factors on the association between Alzheimer’s disease pathology and brain atrophy in cognitively normal older adults at risk for dementia.
“Caregivers of people living with dementia are frequently relatives who themselves have higher risks for developing the condition. By increasing our understanding of the pathology of dementia as a life-long process, this research will promote more compassionate care, and hopefully, solutions for at-risk caregivers to protect themselves.”
Valérie Turcotte, Université Laval
Title: Variations between birth cohorts of factors estimating brain and cognitive reserves in the context of pathological cognitive decline.
“The results of my doctoral project can contribute to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, including recommendations for patients such as cognitive stimulation.”
Nathan Lewis, University of Victoria
Title: Examining the protective effects of lifelong cognitive engagement on cognitive trajectories and risk of conversion to dementia.
“My research may help future studies aimed at delaying the onset of cognitive decline in those at risk for dementia. Individuals of any age or functional ability can engage in cognitively stimulating activities which, combined with existing medical treatments, can slow the progression of dementia.”
Étienne Myette-Côté, Université de Sherbrooke
Title: The effect of chronic ketone ester drink consumption on brain energy metabolism and cognitive function in mild cognitive impairment; a randomized controlled trial.
Funding: $90,000 (FRQS partnership)
“If the ketone drink successfully improves brain energy and brain function, we will conduct a large-scale study to evaluate whether the drink can delay the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”