Harper Government takes action on Alzheimer's disease
VAUGHAN, ON, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State for Seniors, today announced $8.6 million for new research on Alzheimer's disease. They were joined by Debbie Benczkowski, Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer Society of Canada; and Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
"The Harper Government is taking action to turn the tide of Alzheimer's disease in Canada," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We need to better understand this disease so we can develop effective strategies for its prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.
The funding announced will support 44 research projects approved by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to be carried out by researchers across Canada. The projects were approved through a competitive process of peer review.
Minister Fantino also announced a contribution of $160,000 to the Alzheimer Society of Canada to support the 26th International Alzheimer Disease Conference to be held on March 26-29, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario.
"As Minister for Canadian Seniors, I'm proud of the work our Government is doing to find a cure for this tragic disease," said Minister Fantino. "The initiatives we've announced today are steps toward improving the lives of Canadians with Alzheimer's and creating a healthier future for all Canadians."
"Our CIHR funded scientists have been international leaders in advancing the understanding of Alzheimer's disease. It is also through our partnerships that we are able to best devote the resources necessary to fight these diseases," said Dr. Beaudet. CIHR is pursuing an international research strategy on Alzheimer's disease and has established partnerships with agencies in France, Germany, the United States and China.
"The Alzheimer Society welcomes this announcement, Increasing Alzheimer research responds to the critical need for funding identified in our Rising Tide study and is great news for Canadians," said Ms. Benczkowski. Federal support and recognition of the scope of the problem means we can improve the lives of more than 500,000 Canadians currently living with Alzheimer's disease."
For the past 10 years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has supported better health and healthcare for Canadians. As the Government of Canada's health research investment agency, CIHR enables the creation of evidence-based knowledge and its transformation into improved treatments, prevention and diagnoses, new products and services, and a stronger, patient-oriented healthcare system. Composed of 13 internationally-recognized institutes, CIHR supports more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
The Government of Canada is taking action to turn the tide of Alzheimer's disease. By supporting research, surveillance and health promotion, the Government aims to improve the lives of Canadians with Alzheimer's disease and reduce the number of Canadians who develop this disease in the future.
Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State for Seniors, announced $8.6 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support 44 research projects on Alzheimer's disease and related dementia to be carried out by research in universities and hospitals across Canada.
The following are examples of the research projects funded:
- Dr. Wangdong Zhang at the University of Ottawa will study the link between genes that regulate cholesterol metabolism in the brain and the development of late-onset Alzheimer's disease.
- Dr. Sandra Black at the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto will use functional brain imaging to study how changes in the activity of a specific part of the brain may be used as a biomarker to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and track a patient's response to treatment.
- Dr. Cheryl Wellington at University of British Columbia in Vancouver will study the potential of certain compounds to remove beta-amyloid protein from the brain as a new therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's disease.
- Dr. Stephen Pasternak at the University of Western Ontario will study the production of beta-amyloid protein in brain cells to determine where it is produced and how its production is affected in Alzheimer's disease.
- Dr. Tamàs Fulop at Université de Sherbrooke will study the role of the immune system in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada and Alzheimer's Disease International will host the 26th International Conference of Alzheimer's Disease International to be held in Toronto, Ontario from March 26 to 29, 2011. The Government of Canada is providing $160,000 to the Alzheimer Society of Canada to support the organization of four expert-led sessions at the conference that will serve to deepen the understanding of dementia.
For further information:
Jenny Van Alstyne, Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, 613-957-0200
David Coulombe, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563
Rosanne Meandro, Alzheimer Society of Canada, 416-847-8920