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Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

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Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

At Western, researchers are working across the spectrum of dementias – from its roots at the cellular level to its inevitable ending at the bedside, from patient behavior to caregiver support, from early small signs for detection to big questions about end of life. In the crowded field of Alzheimer’s research, Western has carved a niche with its collaborative, optimistic spirit that permeates the pursuit, with hopes their work may reveal keys to combating the disease in the future, while simultaneously easing the burden on those in the present.

There are many approaches to Alzheimer’s disease research worldwide, however, much of that research focuses on the later stages of the disease. This is primarily due to an inability to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s early in its development. Western researchers are on the other end of the disease, looking to identify the earliest changes in the brain.

If we can get to the disease sooner, we’re likely to make a meaningful impact on changing its course. On one hand, we often talk about actually stopping it, right dead in its tracks and then there wouldn’t be any further progression. That’s certainly a Holy Grail every researcher speaks about. But even if we could significantly slow the rate of the progression of the disease, that would be a gain because it would create time.

Help combat Alzheimer’s and related dementias

Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the Top 10 causes of death in Canada that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. As of 2016, the combined health-care system and out-of-pocket caregiver costs are estimated at $10.4 billion per year. By 2031, this figure is expected to increase by 60 per cent, to $16.6 billion – crippling an already taxed health-care system.

Join our interdisciplinary team, become a research champion and help fight this deadly disease.

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