Video: New dementia drugs and therapies: What Canadians should know

In this free video from Dementia Talks! Canada, our panel of experts focuses on new types of drugs and therapies now in development for dementia.

There are hundreds of dementia drugs and therapies in development worldwide. But we only hear about a few of them from time to time in the news.  

What should members of the public know if they want to understand dementia drug and therapy creation better? Or if they want to know how these drugs and therapies are tested and evaluated? 

Our April 19, 2023, edition of Dementia Talks! Canada — “New dementia drugs and therapies: What Canadians should know” — featured leading researchers on these questions, and more.

Speakers included: 

  • Dr. Sharon Cohen, Director of the Toronto Memory Program
  • Dr. Serge Gauthier, Director of the Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders Research Unit, McGill Center for Studies in Aging, Douglas Research Centre
  • Dr. Howard Chertkow, Chair in Cognitive Neurology and Innovation Director at the Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health, Baycrest

The conversation was moderated by Dr. Saskia Sivananthan, Chief Research and KTE Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Dementia Talks! Canada is produced in partnership between Alzheimer Society of Canada and Brain Canada, two of Canada's leading brain-health organizations.

More information about our speakers

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Dr. Sharon Cohen

Dr. Sharon Cohen is a behavioural neurologist and medical director of Toronto Memory Program, a community-based medical facility which she established in 1996 to enhance diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Her memory clinic and research site are among the most active in Canada.  

Dr. Cohen has 30 years of experience in clinical research and has been a site PI for over 180 pharmacological trials. She represents Canada on international advisory boards and steering committees and is a consultant to a wide range of stakeholders including government organizations and patient advocacy groups.  She is a frequent lecturer and contributes to media events including those on medical ethics. She is known for her advocacy of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. 

Despite academic and hospital appointments, Dr. Cohen has always chosen to practice in the community, in keeping with her belief that dementia care and research are best offered in the real-world setting.  

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Dr. Serge Gauthier

Dr Serge Gauthier is Emeritus Professor in Neurology and Psychiatry at McGill University. Previously he was Director of the Alzheimer's disease Research Unit at the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, Director of the McGill Centre for Studies in Ageing and holder of a Research Chair at the Canadian Institute for Health Research, Clinical Investigator and Staff Neurologist at the Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute.  

His research interests include aetiology and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other related diagnosis, development of consensus guidelines on approval and use of antidementia drugs, and on the rights of persons with dementia to participate in research. His publications include Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Alzheimer's Disease (2006), Case Studies in Dementia (2021), ADI’s World Alzheimer Reports (2021, 2022). 

His contributions to research include design and implementation of randomised clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of cholinesterase inhibitors, muscarinic agonists, and agents possibly modifying progression of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. He was a recipient of the Prix Galien Award in 1997, the Order of Canada in 2014 and the Order of Québec in 2017.  

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Dr. Howard Chertkow

Dr. Chertkow is a cognitive neurologist at the Baycrest Health Sciences Centre. He is a Senior Scientist and Chair in Cognitive Neurology and Innovation at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute. He is a Professor in the Dept. of Medicine (Neurology) at University of Toronto.

At Baycrest he is also director of the new Bank Family Clinical Trials Research Unit and the Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health. His major areas of research interest include early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and therapy of dementia using neuromodulation approaches such as transcranial direct current stimulation.

Dr. Chertkow is Scientific Director for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), a national organization established by the Canadian government via CIHR and partners.

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Moderator: Dr. Saskia Sivananthan

Dr. Sivananthan is Chief Research & KTE Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Canada as well as an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. 

She oversees the Alzheimer Society Research program, a dementia research priority setting leader and the only research funder who engages people living with dementia in all aspects of research. She is co-lead for the inaugural non-pharmacological interventions working group of the Canadian Consensus Guidelines on Dementia which developed the first Canadian recommendations on psycho-social interventions for the management and treatment of dementia.

She is a neuroscientist and health data scientist who has focused her work on dementia care.

Comments? Questions?

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