Transcript – Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging

According to the World Health Organization, close to 36 million people suffer from dementia around the world.  This number could double by 2030 and triple by 2050.

In Canada, 750 thousands people suffer with Alzheimer or a form of dementia and this number will double in the next 20 years.

Ross Cleary is 83 years old he has Alzheimer at a moderate level; he can still drive his car for instance. Sally his wife for the past 57 years was the first to notice something was wrong with Ross.

Well at first it was annoyance, because I thought he was not listening. But, really one day, when we drove to our cottage and he ask me the same question four times in a fifty minutes span, I knew there was a problem.

I was in denial as I say at first. But then I began to realize, yes it's for real. So I accepted it, and I try to be, as far as my wife is concerned, be as complaisant about it as I can.

Supported by CIHR, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging or CCNA will bring together the best of Canadian research in this field.

As the quality of life has increased and longevity has increased, the incidence of dementia has increased. Unfortunately, our understanding of the brain and on ways to prevent brain dysfunction is still in its infancy. Huge progress has been made, but the challenges are enormous.

But Canada is a world leader for research on dementia.

Canada is well prepared in order to face the challenge of dementia. We have the top scientists in research on dementia, in all aspects, basic science, clinical aspect, research on health and services and social aspects. And we have an extra advantage and it's that our Canadian researchers can work together, work collectively from all regions, from all diseases.

The CCNA is supported by CIHR and many partners in both the public and private sector and the principal investigator is Howard Chertow.

We believe that bringing together the expertise we have, with sufficient funding, with people working synergistically together that we will find new molecules, new approaches to treatments, even without medications, which will result in significant and even transformative progress within a 5 or 10 year period.

At the end of the day the goal of this impressive research project is to prevent the disease from developing; delay the development of the disease; and help individuals, caregivers and the health system to deal with the disease.

In the meantime people who suffer from dementia like Ross Cleary keep their spirits high and a smile on their face.

This is David Coulombe for CIHR news.

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