Sugar and Alzheimer’s Disease


Proof of Concept Grant Awarded to Saskatchewan dementia researcher who will examine the link between a high sucrose diet and Alzheimer's disease.

Associate Professor Lane Bekar

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has selected 26 grant and award recipients for the 2021 Alzheimer Society Research Program. One of the funding recipients is Lane Bekar, Associate Professor of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology, from the University of Saskatchewan, who was awarded the Proof of Concept Grant.

Lane’s research will explore whether the risk of dementia increases if carriers of the ApoE4 gene (a known risk factor) consume a high sucrose diet. The study will examine possible connections between excessive sugar intake and Alzheimer’s disease pathology in male, female, and menopausal mice who express the ApoE4 gene.

"Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4), which limits the clearance of Alzheimer’s disease-related amyloid beta from the brain, is a major risk factor in Alzheimer’s. High-sugar diets are known to promote the accumulation of amyloid beta proteins. We [will] also assess a human version of the amyloid beta peptide (which aggregates in humans, forming plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s), as the mouse version does not aggregate.” – Lane Bekar

The Alzheimer Society Research Program has distributed more than $3M to this year’s 26 funding recipients. Funds are awarded to doctoral and postdoctoral studies in two categories unique to the Alzheimer Society – Proof of Concept and New Investigator Grants. Proof of Concept grants provide $100K over three years to support researchers with big, bold, and innovative hypotheses, and New Investigator grants provide $200K over four years to build capacity in the dementia research sector and support emerging dementia researchers.

Alzheimer Society research is directly informed by the experiences of people living with dementia, caregivers, and client service staff who serve as Citizen Reviewers within the Alzheimer Society Research Program. Together, we are investing in research that will change the future of dementia in Canada.