uOttawa and Bruyère join forces to fight dementia

Posted on Monday, June 19, 2017

Doctor and patient wearing helmet of sensors in front of a computer screen

Picture courtesy of Bruyère. Photo credit: Valerie Keeler, Valberg Imaging

The University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI) and Bruyère Research Institute (BRI) announced today the launch of a joint fundraising campaign for improved memory and dementia research, education and care, aiming to collectively raise $20 million over the next three years. This first-of-a-kind initiative in Ottawa brings two major academic organizations together to fundraise and work collaboratively for a single cause.

Over 550,000 Canadians currently live with dementia and with over 25,000 more people diagnosed annually, this number will increase to over 900,000 in the next 15 years. The annual cost to Canadians to care for those living with dementia is over $10 billion.

“We can do more together, from bench to bedside, to support memory and dementia research, education and care. Our aim is to better understand memory loss risk factors, to discover quicker and greater improvements in early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and to provide better supports to those living with dementia and their caregivers,” says Peggy Taillon, President, Bruyère Foundation.

“This is the first-ever joint fundraising partnership for a complex patient care, education and research initiative,” said Dr. David Park, Director of the uOBMRI. “More so, the partnership goes beyond just fundraising. Bruyère Research Institute and the uOBMRI will be collaborating in all aspects of our work.”

Donors will be able to support one joint fund that will expand opportunities for patient care, research and education through the Bruyère Research Institute, Bruyère and uOBMRI’s laboratory research and clinical trials. Examples of how the funds will be used include:

  • Enhancing intensity and excellence in research in memory and dementia, from bench to bedside.
  • For the recruitment and development of clinicians, scientists, trainees and students specializing in memory and dementia.
  • Fostering team-based research initiatives within Ottawa and the eastern region.
  • Building a driving simulation centre to identify how dementia impacts driving so that better interventions can be designed and tested to help older adults  drive as long as possible.
  • Establishing an Ottawa patient recruitment platform for research studies.
  • Expanding our use of neuroimaging modality tools including near-infrared spectroscopy, portable EEG and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
  • Driving knowledge to action through improved communication, dissemination and knowledge transfer to support uptake of memory and dementia research by partners and the larger community.

Dr. Heidi Sveistrup, the Interim CEO & Chief Scientific Officer of Bruyère Research Institute and VP Research and Academic Affairs of Bruyère Continuing Care, states, “Dementia is overwhelming not only for the patient but for their families and caregivers. The BRI-uOBMRI initiative is creating a platform for over 100 researchers, clinician scientists and trainees to find new ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure problems with memory, thinking, learning, and other cognitive functions.  This collaboration is a key step in our development as an international leader in transforming care for our aging adults.”

“To truly have a profound impact we must go beyond traditional boundaries to create a new platform for change.” said Sharon Rowan, Director, uOttawa Faculty of Medicine. “This is an exciting time in our own philanthropic history, where two organizations join forces to help solve a global health care crisis, and we look forward to working with our community to meet the need.”    

The University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI) is Ottawa’s largest collection of basic researchers and clinician scientists that are focused on brain and mind related health. The uOBMRI helps orchestrate research in a collaborative and innovative fashion by overcoming the barriers that exist between research at the basic and clinical levels. It does so by helping to coordinate research efforts of its research members at the various uOttawa faculties, resident hospitals, affiliated networks and local research institutes. The uOBMRI supports its members by enhancing the research environment, facilitating access to resources and expanding programs in order to attract the best candidates. We are working together to promote awareness and education of brain and mind related health in the community. https://www.uottawa.ca/brain/

The Bruyère Research Institute supports investigators who contribute to a better, more responsive health care system that delivers the best care to patients and families. The Institute is a proud partner of Bruyère Continuing Care, the University of Ottawa and others and provides solutions to improve the health and health care of aging and vulnerable Canadians. The Institute’s research focuses primarily on evidence, health system evaluation, memory and dementia, geriatrics and rehabilitation, primary care, palliative care and global health. www.bruyere.org/bri

Interview opportunities with patients challenged by memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are available and BRI investigators and physicians. Please contact:

uOttawa media lead

Amélie Ferron-Craig
Agente des relations médias | Media Relations Officer 
Université d'Ottawa | University of Ottawa 
Cell: 613-863-7221

Bruyère media lead

Andrea MacLean-Pistilli
Directrice, Communication et Intendance | Director, Communication & Stewardship
Fondation Bruyère Foundation
Cell: 613-808-0202

 

Back to top