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This article was published 18/8/2015 (2176 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A combination of private and public funding, totaling $500,000 over the next five years, will advance the work done at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre into dementia in seniors and how to better diagnose it.
It will also see Dr. Ben Albensi recognized as the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair, a new position created by Alzheimer Society of Manitoba the province.
Today’s announcement, by Jobs and Economy Minister Kevin Chief, addresses two issues.
Chief said besides further studying the onset and treatment of dementia, it also makes Winnipeg a leading centre of research into memory loss and brain disorders among seniors.
"It sends a very strong message to young people in our province, and particularly young people that want to have a career in research, it says you can have a worldwide impact, you gave have a global reach, and still have an impact here at home," Chief said.
The funding is split between the Alzheimer Society, through a $250,000 donation from Wescan Electrical Mechanical Services, and the province.
Albensi , a professor in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, leads studies into cellular memory dysfunction at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre.
He said the funding will allow him to further study dementia in the community, such as how it is treated, and build deeper relationships with agencies in Canada and the United States that specialize in dementia.
The second part will allow researchers to study how to better diagnose types of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, which is caused by strokes.
More than 20,000 Manitobans have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, Wendy Schettler, CEO of the Alzheimer Society, said. That means about 43 per cent of Manitobans have some connection to someone living with dementia. That number is also expected to grow as the baby boomer generation ages.
Wescan’s Bob Modjeski said the decision to contribute funding is partly due to two family members, now deceased, who were diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
Schettler and Albensi said another goal is to seek other funding from private and government sources to further accelerate study into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of dementia.
"Without this, we wouldn’t be moving forward," Schettler said of Wescan’s contribution.