Dementia Symposium 2017

Illuminating the Journey Research Knowledge Practice

Thank you to everyone who participated in Illuminating the Journey: Dementia Symposium 2017. A diverse audience engaged with our presenting panelists to explore leading research related to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia related diseases. For those interested in further exploring the research presented, we have provided links to the full presentations below.

Check back soon for future research and education events presented by Gordie Howe Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Education Society.

Featuring Renowned Physician Researchers

Dr. Michael Borrie, M.D. ChB, FRCPC
Michael Borrie, MB ChB, FRCPC is a Geriatrician and Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, The University of Western Ontario. His research interests include predictors of conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer Disease (AD), including sensitive Neuroimaging techniques, and randomized controlled trials of new treatments for MCI and AD.

Alzheimer disease (AD), caused by amyloid protein plaques and tau protein neurofibrillary tangles in the brain is the most common form of dementia. Vascular dementia (VaD) is the second most common form due to small strokes and in the very old, AD and VaD often occur together. Five vascular risk factors can be self-managed together with treatment from family physicians to prevent strokes. Prevention of concussions and attaining higher education are protective factors against dementia. Exercise, Mediterranean style diet, mental stimulation, socialization, restorative sleep and alcohol / drug reduction can reduce the risk of dementia and some current evidence will be reviewed. Randomized clinical trials are being used to test new drugs designed to prevent or remove the accumulation of amyloid protein in the brains of people with MCI due to AD. Biomarkers of neurodegeneration including magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography are used in observational studies and to select and follow participants in randomized clinical trials.

Dr. David Howe, M.D. D.C., M.B.A
David A. Howe, M.D. D.C., M.B.A. is the Chief Executive and Medical Officer of Longevity Medicine. He has championed the design, development and implementation of solutions related to the advancement of stem cell technology and has contributed significantly to all critical processes. Dr. Howe is the Medical Monitor for the Gordie Howe Traumatic Brain Injury Stem Cell Study.

The diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s is more than just the discussion of plaques and tangles in the brain and how to clear the brain of these substances. In fact, the research into a monotherapy drug has recently been abandoned by two major drug companies. What scientists and researchers have been telling us for years is that it is the plaque and tangles causing the problem. It looks like billions of dollars have been spent chasing this theory to no avail. What many have been saying for years is that it is epigenetics (the influence of the modern-day environment, life style and diet) that are the real causal issues in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The question is what can we do to prevent cognitive decline and, if you or a loved one has already developed dementia, what can be done about it. A brief sharing of natural treatments and the application of stem cell treatment as a viable option to regenerate the mind.

Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, M.D. FRCPC
Zahinoor Ismail M.D. FRCPC is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Dr. Ismail’s research interests revolve extensively around the interface between cognition and neuropsychiatric symptoms including studies of clinical psychopharmacology, adverse drug reactions / drug interactions, epidemiology, cognitive screening and neuroimaging biomarkers of neuropsychiatric illnesses.

Screening for cognitive impairment in elderly individuals is a key part of elder care. It is important to use cognitive screening instruments that are valid and reliable, and not biased by language, education and culture. Further, global screening is not feasible, so opportunistic case finding is a more appropriate approach to implementing screening instruments. Emerging evidence suggests early screening for neuropsychiatric symptoms is also important, as some dementia syndromes may present initially with NPS in advance of cognitive impairment. Mild Behavioural Impairment (MBI) describes later life onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms as an at risk state for cognitive decline and dementia. We will review cognitive screening instruments and their interpretation in assisting dementia diagnosis. We will review neuropsychiatric rating scales in the care of dementia, as well as rating scales in pre-dementia syndromes including the newly developed MBI checklist.

Evans Hunt