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Baycrest applauds Government of Canada's announcements for the first national dementia strategy and funding for critical research in the fight to defeat dementia
June 17, 2019 The federal health minister, alongside co-chairs from Baycrest and the Alzheimer Society of Canada, released a national strategy to guide the country’s next steps in tackling the health crisis of dementia.

TORONTO – June 17, 2019 – Today, Baycrest President and CEO, Dr. William Reichman, joined the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, for the government’s release of Canada’s first national dementia strategy - A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire.

Dr. Reichman, co-chair of the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia, provided expert input to assist the government in creating a strategy that focuses on preventing dementia, advancing therapies, finding a cure and improving the quality of life for people living with dementia, their caregivers and families.

As co-chair for the advisory board, Dr. Reichman, along with fellow co-chair, Pauline Tardif, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, provided insight on current and emerging issues in dementia care and the challenges and opportunities to help improve the lives of people living with neurodegenerative disorders.

“We thank the Government of Canada for leading the development of this strategy, which will play a key role in tackling the greatest health crisis of our time,” says Dr. Reichman, a clinician specializing in the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia for more than 30 years. “This strategy, when effectively implemented, has the ability to make a real difference in the lives of Canadians living with dementia, and their families and caregivers. It also reaffirms the need for an ongoing commitment to research that will lead to new and much needed innovative solutions that improve the ways in which we prevent, diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”

More than half a million Canadians currently live with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In less than 15 years, the number of Canadians living with dementia will nearly double to 937,000.

Baycrest becomes the scientific headquarters to the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging
admin-research-exec-(1).jpgMinister Petipas Taylor also announced funding for Phase II of Canada’s largest national dementia research initiative, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). Thanks to a $46-million investment from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and 11 other funding partners, CCNA will build on its previous findings and continue to accelerate dementia research around the world.

“CCNA is an innovative and powerful national collaborative hub for dementia research and knowledge translation, says Dr. Yves Joanette, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aging. “Over the last five years, Dr. Chertkow and his colleagues have mobilized the dementia research community and created the environment and the shared platforms required to synergize research efforts in all the areas that will make the most impact in preventing, treating brain diseases causing dementia and in best supporting those living with dementia and their caregivers. CIHR is pleased to be joined by many relevant partners in supporting Phase II of CCNA as they will be adding a critically important research program on dementia prevention.”

chertkow-minister-health-(1).jpgCCNA, the national component of the Government of Canada’s dementia research strategy, brings together 311 researchers across the country to collaboratively investigate various areas of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dementia and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

For its first five years, CCNA was based at the Lady Davis Institute of McGill’s Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and received strong support from the institution. In this second phase, CCNA’s scientific headquarters will be based at Baycrest in Toronto, a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging, and a University of Toronto teaching hospital. The administrative centre will remain at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.

“CCNA intends to make Canada a leader in dementia prevention by creating an infrastructure and a master protocol that can be used to test combination interventions, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological,” says Dr. Howard Chertkow, CCNA’s Scientific Director, and a Senior Scientist and Chair in Cognitive Neurology and Innovation at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute.

dr-chertkow-assessing-older-adult-(2).jpgWith the move of its scientific headquarters to Baycrest, CCNA will tap into ongoing research initiatives on campus:
  • The Baycrest-led Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation has partnered with CCNA to accelerate the development and commercialization of technology to support people with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Researchers at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute and Baycrest Hospital are currently members of various CCNA teams.
  • Cogniciti, the Baycrest-developed online brain health assessment, will enhance the CCNA’s recruitment efforts to encourage more individuals to participate in clinical trials of medications to delay and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The planned launch of the Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness at Baycrest aligns with CAN-THUMBS UP’s work to investigate the best ways to help prevent dementia.

“With the establishment of CCNA’s scientific headquarters at Baycrest, our organization has the largest network of dementia research being conducted across the country,” says Dr. Reichman. “CCNA joins Baycrest’s robust research network supported by our scientists at the Rotman Research Institute and innovators at the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, who are all doing work to support the national dementia strategy.” 

About Baycrest
Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. 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 and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti – a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. 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. Baycrest is helping create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org.

About CCNA
Since 2014, 300+ clinicians and researchers throughout Canada have come together to form CCNA and are accelerating progress in age-related neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs), including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia. Based on their area of specialization, CCNA’s researchers throughout Canada are grouped into 19 teams, and are working in the areas of prevention, treatment, and quality of life. They draw on the support of four national platforms, and are supported by five cross-cutting programs that assist teams in identifying gaps, synergies, and facilitate idea uptake.

For media inquiries:
Michelle Petch Gotuzzo
Baycrest
416-785-2500 ext. 6932
mpetchgotuzzo@baycrest.org

Josephine Lim
Baycrest
416-785-2500 ext. 6127
jlim@baycrest.org
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