Timeline of Canadian research on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases causing dementia

Year Milestone

The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), a major pan-Canadian research initiative, is funded.


Dr. Sylvie Belleville demonstrates memory training can help increase brain plasticity and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's.

An international Alzheimer research team, including researchers from Canada, identify five additional genes that each add risk of dementia.


The Alzheimer Society of Canada releases the Rising Tide Report [ PDF (2.31 MB) - external link ].


Dr. Alan C. Evans develops CBRAIN – a platform for the processing and exchange of brain imaging data that will allow Alzheimer's disease and related dementia researchers globally to access and contribute to large imaging databases.


Dr. Kenneth Rockwood starts the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network (CDKTN)-a forum to exchange credible information about dementia research.


Dr. Howard Chertkow chairs the Third Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia which led to the formulation of new clinical guidelines for physicians.

Drs. Ian Mackenzie and Howard Feldman discover mutations in progranulin gene as major cause of frontotemporal dementia.

Drs. Joanne McLaurin and colleagues stop the build-up of toxic plague in mice with Alzheimer's disease, essentially curing the disease, using a small molecule known as scyllo-cyclohexanehexol.


Drs. Vladimir Hachinski and Sandra Black help to achieve consensus to harmonize protocols for clinical, cognitive, imaging, and pathological evaluation of Vascular Cognitive Impairment, which are now being validated in several countries around the world. They also influence thinking on the important interactions between Alzheimer's and cerebrovascular disease.

Dr. Ziad Nasreddine and colleagues publish the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test which quickly becomes the standard assessment tool worldwide for identifying mild cognitive impairment, often a precursor of Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Debra Morgan leads the development of a Rural and Remote Memory Clinic for dementia patients in Saskatchewan – changing the philosophy of caring for people with dementia in rural and remote communities.


Dr. Peter St George-Hyslop develops a vaccine that prevents Alzheimer's disease in mice. He and his team also discover the nicastrin protein.


The Desjardins Research Chair in Nursing Care for Seniors and Their Families is created in Québec. The research program helps the development of a website dedicated to carers (in French only).


Dr. Peter St George-Hyslop discovers and clones two genes, called presenilins, responsible for early-onset Alzheimer's disease.


Dr. Judes Poirier discovers the apolipoprotein E is a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.


Drs. Patrick and Edith McGeer develop the once heretical but now accepted concept that inflammation plays a role in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

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