Women’s Brain Health Day, December 2

It is a great pleasure for me to be able to recognize the first Women’s Brain Health Day today – December 2.

Our partner Lynn Posluns and her team at Women’s Brain Health Initiative established this new annual awareness day to bring attention to the importance of including sex and gender in research and to shine a spotlight on the fact that many brain health conditions, such as dementia, stroke and depression, occur more frequently in women than in men.

We are pleased to be supporting research in partnership with Women’s Brain Health Initiative on dementia in women. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, more than 400,000 Canadians, aged 65 and older, are living with dementia – two-thirds are women.

We are currently supporting the Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging, held by Dr. Gillian Einstein at the University of Toronto. This chair is co-funded by the CIHR Institutes of Aging, Gender and Health, Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, in collaboration with Women’s Brain Health Initiative, Ontario Brain Institute, and Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Dr. Einstein’s research program seeks to better understand why dementia and other brain-aging conditions are more common in women and to use this knowledge to develop gender specific approaches to prevention and treatment.

In celebration of Women’s Brain Health Day, Women’s Brain Health Initiative created the Stand Ahead campaign: a challenge that aims to upend the way people view dementia. Literally! The challenge involves doing a headstand – or asking someone to do one for you – to stand up against research bias and stand ahead for women’s brain health, and to donate to the cause. We invite you to visit the campaign website and to learn more about women’s brain health.

For our part, we stand with our partner Women’s Brain Health Initiative. We stand for all the women across Canada who are living with dementia and other conditions that impact brain health. And we stand with the researchers who are committed to improving the lives of these women – as well as future generations of women.

Dr. Jane Rylett
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Aging

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