Holland Bloorview Autism Scientist Awarded $2.5 Million by Brain Canada: Holland Bloorview's Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou and co-lead Dr. Jason Lerch of SickKids receive grant to fund testing of new drugs for the treatment of autism

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou at Holland Bloorview's Autism Research Centre and Dr. Jason Lerch at SickKids have been awarded $2.5 million by the Government of Canada, in partnership with Brain Canada, the Azrieli Neurodevelopmental Research Program and the Chagnon family, to fund testing of new drugs for the treatment of autism.

Today in Montreal, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced federal investment in autism and Alzheimer's research projects, $2.5 million of which will go towards supporting innovative autism research at Holland Bloorview and SickKids.  

"The five neuroscience projects being announced today are only possible due to the generosity of the Azrieli Foundation and the Chagnon family and matching funds from the Government of Canada. These initiatives hold the potential to dramatically improve the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer's and autism." – Prime Minister Stephen Harper  

The ground breaking autism research led by Drs. Anagnostou and Lerch will be the first to introduce the use of co-clinical trials to the world of neurodevelopmental research. Proven successful in the development of cancer therapeutics, co-clinical trials may aid investigators in isolating some of the individual causes of autism.  

"With this generous funding from the Government of Canada, Brain Canada and other partners, we hope to use the co-clinical trial model to develop a better understanding of the cause of an individual's autism, as well as their likelihood of responding to treatment with these new drugs. This may help healthcare providers develop a personalized treatment plan to manage symptoms that a child with autism might find difficult," - Dr. Anagnostou, Neurologist and Clinician Scientist in the Bloorview Research Institute 

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Bloorview Research Institute
Holland Bloorview is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We pioneer treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. Located onsite, the Bloorview Research Institute is the only hospital-embedded pediatric rehabilitation institute in Canada.

SOURCE: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

For further information: Claire Florentin, Senior Communications Associate, 416-425-6220 x3497, cflorentin@hollandbloorview.ca

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