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Canadian Brain Bank Network to advance Alzheimer research
To advance understanding of dementia and contribute to the search for new treatments, the Government of Canada announced a grant of $1,065,000 over five years to establish a Canadian brain bank network that will be linked to the international Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The Canadian ADNI BraIn bank Network, or CABIN, will provide the personnel and physical infrastructure needed to contribute to the ADNI program and more broadly support brain donation and tissue banking for dementia research programs in Canada. CABIN is a national initiative that will be administered from Dr. Howard Chertkow’s group at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital.
The project involves using advanced neuroimaging technologies to track the progression of dementia and develop imaging approaches to diagnosis and monitoring of future therapies.
A key component of the initiative includes the study of the brains of the participants who eventually die from the disease. Researchers carry out brain autopsies to determine the effect of the disease and collect tissues samples to identify biomarkers that may be used to permit early detection.

“We are taking our place among the international leaders in dementia research,” asserted Dr. Chertkow, Scientific Director of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) nda Professor of Neurology at McGill University. “Thanks to those patients who generously donate their brains for research, we will have the opportunity to explore the significant variations in how dementia expresses itself and to use this valuable information to advance the search for new treatments.”

More than 400,000 Canadians aged 65 and over live with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of cases. The cause of this degenerative brain disease is largely unknown and no effective treatment exists.

In announcing the funding, Anthony Housefather, Member of Parliament for Mont Royal, said, “McGill University and the Jewish General Hospital are world leaders in brain research and the treatment of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

The research is funded as part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Dementia Research Strategy.

From left to right, Joanne Goldberg, Associate Director of the CIHR Institute on Aging, Dr. Gerald Batist, Acting Director of the LDI, Dr. Yves Joanette, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute on Aging, Dr. Howard Chertkow, of the LDI, Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather, Dr. Nahum Sonnenberg, James McGill Professor of Biochemistry, and Alan Maislin, Chair of the Board of the CIUSSS of West-Central Montreal

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