February 22, 2019

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Dollars for delving into dementia

Funds will help research centre study disorders

Dr. Ben Albensi (right) shows Jobs and Economy Minister Kevin Chief (second from right) around the lab at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dr. Ben Albensi (right) shows Jobs and Economy Minister Kevin Chief (second from right) around the lab at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/8/2015 (1283 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A combination of private and public funding totalling $500,000 over the next five years will boost the work being done at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre on dementia in seniors and how to better diagnose it.

It will also result in the University of Manitoba's Dr. Ben Albensi being awarded the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair, a new position created through contributions from the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba and the province.

Albensi, an associate professor in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics at the U of M, is the principal investigator in neurodegenerative disorders at the 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 that specialize in dementia.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/8/2015 (1283 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A combination of private and public funding totalling $500,000 over the next five years will boost the work being done at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre on dementia in seniors and how to better diagnose it.

It will also result in the University of Manitoba's Dr. Ben Albensi being awarded the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair, a new position created through contributions from the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba and the province.

Albensi, an associate professor in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics at the U of M, is the principal investigator in neurodegenerative disorders at the 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 that specialize in dementia.

He said 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.

"My mother herself has dementia," Albensi said. "It's a terrible disease."

Tuesday's announcement, by Jobs and Economy Minister Kevin Chief, addresses two issues. He said besides further studying the onset and treatment of dementia, it makes Winnipeg a 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 can 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.

More than 20,000 Manitobans suffer from a form of dementia, said Wendy Schettler, CEO of the Alzheimer Society. That means about 43 per cent of Manitobans have some connection to someone living with dementia. That number is expected to grow as the baby boomer generation ages.

Wescan's Bob Modjeski said the decision to contribute funding is partly because of two family members, now deceased, who had Alzheimer's.

"I know my mother, before she passed away, we used to visit her often, and she would never remember seeing anybody," Modjesky said. "She was constantly lonely because no one came to see her."

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," he said. "If we can find ways that can delay the progression and keep people living well longer, that really what we want to do."

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

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