Brain Canada and the Alzheimer's Association partner to fund Alzheimer's and dementia research in Canada

International researchers, clinicians and care providers gather this week in Toronto at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2016

TORONTO, July 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Understanding, diagnosing, treating, and preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia is a global research challenge that requires increased investment and multi-country collaboration.

Brain Canada is at the forefront of these efforts, leveraging matching funds provided by Health Canada to foster partnerships that strengthen and accelerate Canada's contributions to this challenge. Brain Canada currently funds 19 research projects in the area of Alzheimer's disease and dementia totaling over $30 million; that is 15% of the Canada Brain Research Fund which is valued at $200-million going directly towards dementia research. 

In 2015, Brain Canada formed a partnership with the Alzheimer's Association, the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer's research in the world, to increase funding in this area, and to achieve broader impact across the global research community. Brain Canada and the Alzheimer's Association share the belief that supporting researchers that are pursuing novel ideas will lead to breakthroughs faster. In addition, Brain Canada's one-system approach to the brain means that every breakthrough in Alzheimer's and dementia carries the potential to impact other diseases which share common underlying mechanisms, such as ALS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease.

The Brain Canada–Alzheimer's Association partnership supports top-ranked Canadian researchers and their teams through the Association's International Research Grant program. In the 2015 program, grants were awarded to Dr. Tim Storr (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Babak Taati (Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) through the New Investigator program, and to Dr. Regina Jokel (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care) through the Investigator-Initiated Research program; totaling $397,796 out of $2.4 million allocated to the partnership. Funding for the three research projects was split between Brain Canada and the Alzheimer's Association.

  • Dr. Tim Storr and colleagues are examining how copper-containing amyloid oligomers affect nerve cell health and if they can be used to help detect early brain changes in Alzheimer's.
  • Dr. Babak Taati and colleagues are using a tool they developed to assess walking patterns and stability in adults with dementia to predict the risk of falling.
  • Dr. Regina Jokel and colleagues are using a unique group-based approach to improve communication in people affected by primary progressive aphasia.

The Alzheimer's Association International Conference® (AAIC) 2016, the world's largest forum for the dementia research community, takes place from July 22 to 28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. International investigators, clinicians and care providers will gather to share the latest study results, theories and discoveries that bring the world closer to breakthroughs in the science of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Millions of people throughout the world eagerly await these breakthroughs. As of 2015, 48 million people worldwide are living with dementia.1 This number is forecasted to reach an estimated 76 million individuals in 2030, and will almost triple by 2050.2

"The fact that the Alzheimer's Association selected Canada for this global event highlights the central role of our researchers and clinicians in the global effort to fight Alzheimer's and dementia. Brain Canada is proud of our partnership with the Alzheimer's Association, which enables Canadian researchers to collaborate with scientists in other countries. Through this partnership, Brain Canada and Health Canada are making targeted investments in an area that is of critical importance to all Canadians," says Inez Jabalpurwala, President and CEO, Brain Canada.

"Alzheimer's disease is a growing global health emergency – affecting all countries, all races, and people of all socioeconomic conditions – so that investment in research by global community is vitally important," said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer's Association chief science officer. "Canada is a leader on that stage, and Brain Canada in particular, and we are proud to be partners with them in funding exceptionally high quality research projects in Canada."

For more information about Brain Canada and its funding programs, please visit the Brain Canada Foundation booth #811 in the Exhibit Hall at this year's AAIC or visit

About Brain Canada
Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, which enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. For more than one decade, Brain Canada has made the case for the brain as a single, complex system with commonalities across the range of neurological disorders, mental illnesses and addictions, brain and spinal cord injuries. Looking at the brain as one system has underscored the need for increased collaboration across disciplines and institutions, and a smarter way to invest in brain research that is focused on outcomes that will benefit patients and families. Brain Canada's vision is to understand the brain, in health and illness, to improve lives and achieve societal impact.

The Canada Brain Research Fund
The Canada Brain Research Fund is a public-private partnership between Health Canada and Brain Canada designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments. Brain Canada has committed to raising $100 million from private and non-governmental sources, which is being matched by Health Canada on a 1:1 basis. The Fund was announced in federal budget 2011.

About The Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research. The Association's mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer's. Visit or call 800-272-3900.

1 Dementia Fact Sheet (March 2015), World Health Organization,
2 Dementia Fact Sheet (March 2015), World Health Organization,

SOURCE Brain Canada

For further information: Media Contacts: Andrea Mancini, CASACOM,, 416-944-2145; Niles Frantz, Alzheimer's Association,, 312-363-8782

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