"Transformative" Donation Enables New Research in Dementia

TORONTO, Jan. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - An extraordinary and generous donation to Women's Brain Health Initiative (WBHI) by the Robin and Barry Picov Family Foundation is going to support important new research into a devastating brain disease: frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is an umbrella term for a group of rare disorders that tend to affect people at a younger age than Alzheimer's disease, and is marked by behavioral changes or difficulties with speech and movement, and ultimately memory loss.

WBHI Founder and President Lynn Posluns said that, while the Picovs have been longtime supporters, this donation is transformative. "It's important to us that it's going into FTD research because it's not as well-known as Alzheimer's," said Ms. Posluns. "Their generous gift is a true leadership donation that will significantly advance our understanding of why women are more affected by brain-aging disorders than men."

Robin and Barry Picov said they believe it is crucial to support this kind of research given the sobering reality that rates of dementia are rising sharply in Canada, and that women are disproportionally affected.

"Lynn has given us a tremendous amount of knowledge about ways to protect our brain health and the lack of research focused on women," said Ms. Picov. "We hope this donation helps other Canadians realize the importance of brain health."

Mr. Picov added: "Canada is facing a tsunami with dementia, and as with cancer, more research is necessary to find answers for the various types. If we can't find a cure, at least let's find the resources to help people."

The donation by the Robin and Barry Picov Family Foundation follows the recent announcement by WBHI of the Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women's Brain Health and Aging, awarded to Dr. Gillian Einstein at the University of Toronto. It is the first of its kind in the world—a research initiative that will seek to improve our understanding of why women suffer from brain disorders at a higher rate than men.

Women's Brain Health Initiative(WBHI) is a Canadian charitable organization inspired to combat women's brain health disorders through investment in focused, innovative research at leading institutions across Canada. WBHI supports urgently-needed, leading-edge, peer-reviewed research on women's health and brain aging, to improve diagnostic and treatment methods. Ultimately, this research will improve brain health outcomes for women throughout the world. WBHI's awareness and fundraising initiatives include education programs and sales of the iconic Hope-Knot. All monies raised are managed by WBHI in accordance with its board-approved governance policies on investments and distribution of funds. (Charitable No. 80099 3206 RR0001)

SOURCE Women's Brain Health Initiative (WBHI)

For further information: JoAnne Korten, Executive Director, Women's Brain Health Initiative, jkorten@womensbrainhealth.org, m: 416.606.2399

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