Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that usually affects older adults. This disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia refers to a group of symptoms that affect people’s memories and cognitive abilities, and these symptoms can interfere with daily activities. The speed of the progression is different for everyone, but eventually, Alzheimer’s disease affects all aspects of sufferers’ lives.
Every year, about 25,000 Canadians are diagnosed with dementia, and there are an estimated 564,000 Canadians living with the disease. If one of your loved ones was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you maybe worried about what the diagnosis means for your family. The fight against Alzheimer’s disease is ongoing, and researchers and governments are hard at work to end this disease. Here’s what you need to know about government funding in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
Focuses of Alzheimer’s Disease Research
There’s still a lot to learn about Alzheimer’s disease. The causes of the disease aren’t fully understood. There’s no cure for the disease, though there are some treatments that can help slow down symptoms. There’s no single test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s, so patients may need to undergo multiple tests to get a diagnosis.
Alzheimer’s disease research focuses on finding the answers to these mysteries. Researchers are studying possible causes of the disease like health, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Genetics may also play a role. Researching the causes of the disease helps researchers determine how people can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Learning more about the processes behind the disease can also help researchers create new medications or treatments to hopefully cure the disease.
The long-term care of people with Alzheimer’s disease is another area of focus for researchers. Quality of life research focuses on how to improve the lives of people who’ve already been diagnosed, and it helps determine the best practices for caring for people with Alzheimer’s. This research also aims to support the caregivers of people with dementia.
Government Funding for Research
The Canadian government takes Alzheimer’s disease very seriously. The government has joined forces with other G7 countries to support additional research into the disease. The goal of their initiatives is to find a cure for dementia by 2025.
The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is one of the government’s initiatives. This study will follow 50,000 Canadians for a period of 20 years to increase understanding of how dementia develops as people age. The Canadian government and its partners invested $50 million in this initiative.
The Cognitive Impairment in Aging Partnership is another of the government’s initiatives to fight Alzheimer’s disease. The Canadian government and its partners invested more than $34 million in this initiative. The initiative helps many private, non-governmental, and governmental organizations further their research and share knowledge with each other.
Government funding for research also goes through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The CIHR provides grants for researchers and supports clinical trials. Over the past decade, more than $236 million was spent on dementia-related research through the CIHR.
Canadian Government Partnerships
Alzheimer’s disease affects people throughout the world, and international researchers are also hard at work to find a cure. The Canadian government is involved in partnerships to ensure that international researchers have access to the latest data. These partnerships are important because they encourage collaboration and reduce redundant research, saving both time and money.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research's International Collaborative Research Strategy on Alzheimer's Disease helps Canadian researchers participate in valuable international research partnerships. Almost $13 million in Canadian government funding has been provided for this project since 2009, and international partners provided an additional $21.1 million.