Video: Growing the conversation about young onset dementia

In this conversation, four people with personal and/or research experiences with young onset dementia in Canada share their knowledge, stories and perspectives.

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Dementia Talks! Canada

Held in partnership with Brain Canada, Dementia Talks! Canada is a new webinar series focusing on conversations on topics relevant to dementia.

In this conversation, "Growing the Conversation on Young Onset Dementia," four people with personal and/or research experiences with young onset dementia in Canada share their knowledge, stories and perspectives.

About the panellists

Mario Gregorio

Mario Gregorio, Student Mentor @ UBC and Simon Fraser University

Mario Gregorio is a passionate advocate to create awareness, reduce stigma and help educate the public about dementia. He is a mentor for students at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University to help them understand the sensitivities of people living with the disease.

Mario is a member of several provincial and municipal initiatives to help create a dementia-friendly community. He enjoys swimming, walking and taking pictures.

Dr. Mario Masellis

Dr. Mario Masellis, Clinical Scientist / Assistant Professor @ Sunnybrook Research Institute / University of Toronto

Dr. Masellis is a clinician-scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute and an assistant professor within the division of neurology at the University of Toronto. Clinically, he is a neurologist with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of early-onset dementias, including young onset dementia, as well as dementias associated with movement disorders. 

Dr. Masellis has training in four main research areas: Cognitive and movement disorders, neurology, pharmacology, and genomics and neuroimaging. His current research focus is on the characterization of the genetics, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and pathological features of atypical neurodegenerative dementias.

Natasha Jacobs

Natasha Jacobs, Advisory Group Lead @ Alzheimer Society of Canada

Natasha’s grandfather was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 62, and she was an essential advocate for her family during that stage of his life. Natasha has since gone on to spend more than 10 years working with those who live with a form of dementia, as well as their care partners.

After her studies in gerontology, Natasha became a transition worker and family counsellor in Ottawa, working with over 70 families, providing counselling and advocacy from diagnosis through to admission in long-term care and beyond.

Natasha lives in Cobourg, Ontario with her husband Jermaine, and their children Jordyn and Isaiah. Natasha is the Advisory Group Lead here at the Alzheimer Society of Canada, where she coordinates and works alongside our Steering Committee as well as our Advisory Group.

Camryn Berry

Camryn Berry, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Associate @ Alzheimer Society of Canada

Camryn Berry is a Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Associate at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. She completed a Master of Science in Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. Camryn’s research focused on the experiences of adult child caregivers of people living with young onset dementia.

Camryn has previously worked on projects at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program  and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Camryn is an advocate for expanding the services and supports offered to young caregivers and people living with young onset dementia.

Leah Sandals

Moderator: Leah Sandals, Senior Editor - KTE @ Alzheimer Society of Canada

Leah Sandals recently helped develop the Alzheimer Society of Canada's refreshed young onset dementia hub at Leah’s mother developed FTD in her late 40s, and her aunts developed it in their 50s and 60s. Leah has participated in some international FTD research studies as well.

Leah grew up in Winnipeg and Calgary, and she went to university in Montreal and Halifax. She also has family in Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to joining the Alzheimer Society of Canada in 2021, she worked for 20 years in journalism and non-profit publishing.

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