June 27, 2022
Canada’s largest dementia research initiative, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), has launched an innovative online program that offers older adults the opportunity to increase their knowledge of dementia, improve lifestyle risk factors and engage with researchers. The program, Brain Health PRO (BHPro), offers interactive digital educational modules to empower older adults to improve their physical and mental health, and modify their risk factors for dementia.
The bilingual program focuses on seven different modifiable dementia risk domains: exercise, nutrition, sleep, psychological and social health, cognitive engagement, heart health, and vision and hearing. For each, the program includes 10-minute educational videos, as well as interactive activities for users to complete. Participants will also be sent portable EEG headsets to measure their brain activity during sleep, and accelerometers to track their physical activity. With the rise of dementia anticipated to reach nearly 1 million Canadians over the next 12 years, dementia prevention is becoming an increasingly urgent national health priority.
“The launch of BHPro is part of a significant research effort to find concrete means of preventing dementia, with the ultimate goal of having tremendous benefits for the aging experience,” says Dr. Howard Chertkow, Scientific Director of the CCNA and Director of the Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness at Baycrest.
“Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC) is proud to support the launch of the BHPro through the CAN-THUMBS UP program,” says Dr. Saskia Sivananthan, ASC’s Chief Research & KTE Officer.
BHPro is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the ASC, and was created through the Canadian Therapeutic Platform Trial for Multidomain Interventions to Prevent Dementia (CAN-THUMBS UP) program, which is part of the CCNA. The study will support 350 older adults across Canada who have at least one risk factor for dementia, with the goal of seeing participants’ dementia risk reduced throughout the year-long study. Please note, there is limited space for research participants. To learn more, please visit canthumbsup.ca
CCNA is the national component of the CIHR dementia research strategy, bringing together over 340 researchers across Canada to collaboratively investigate the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dementia and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases. For more information, visit ccna-ccnv.ca
Baycrest is a global leader in research, innovation, education and care for older adults, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Baycrest is home to a robust research and innovation network, including one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute; the scientific headquarters of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, Canada’s largest national dementia research initiative; and the Baycrest-powered Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector.
Baycrest helps aging adults assess, monitor, maintain and enhance cognition through an innovative portfolio of evidence-based products and services offered through its brain health company, Cogniciti.
Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals. Through these initiatives, Baycrest has remained at the forefront of the fight to defeat dementia as our organization works to help individuals Fear No AgeTM
and create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information, visit: baycrest.org.
National Clinical Research Operations Manager
Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA)