New Dementia Study Launches

By StephanieYamin

Every year clinicians and researchers work hard to bring issues related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to light.

January was Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and it is an important time to reflect on the work that still needs to be done in order to understand this disease and find effective ways of delaying, treating and preventing it.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. It is the most commonly diagnosed type of dementia.

Other types of dementia include Vascular dementia, Mixed dementia, Frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.

As our population is aging, dementia is certainly a growing concern in Canada. Currently, it is estimated that approximately 564,000 Canadians have dementia and that number is expected to rise to 937,000 by 2031.

Research in the field is still very much in its infancy.

As a professor in the Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University and Principal Investigator at the Clinical Trials Unit at Bruyère Research Institute, my research focuses specifically on better understanding dementia.

There are two primary types of studies in the field and these include interventional and observational studies. Interventional studies focus on testing the effectiveness of a particular treatment and could include a memory training program or taking a new and promising medication. Observational studies focus on collecting information about people with a particular diagnosis over a period of time.

The information collected could include lifelong diet and exercise habits, family history, blood draws, MRI scans, and so on.

We are just launching a new and exciting observational study called the Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia study (COMPASS-ND). This study will recruit 1,600 participants across Canada in 30 sites (Bruyère Research Institute included).

We are interested in recruiting people diagnosed with all types of dementia, mild cognitive impairment and others who have memory complaints.

Participants involved in this study can expect to have clinical, sensory, and cognitive tests, an MRI scan and provide samples of blood, saliva and urine.

We will follow participants over time and repeat the assessments yearly.

A study of this amplitude on dementia has never been conducted in Canada or world-wide. This research has the potential to improve the lives of Canadians living with dementia as well as their families.

If you are interested in any of the research discussed in this article you can call the Clinical Trials Unit at Bruyère Research Institute at 613-562-6328 to receive more information about our interventional or observational studies. You can also contact me, Stephanie Yamin, at Saint Paul University via email at