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Every year on September 21st, Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre is home to world-class Alzheimer’s research!

Neurodegenerative diseases of the peripheral and central nervous systems devastate individuals and their families, and endanger the fiscal solvency of health care organizations. The incidence of these diseases, including Alzheimer’s, are increasing in proportion to our ageing population and are receiving priority status for available funds from government and other funding agencies.

Through our Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders (DND), St. Boniface Hospital Research determines the mechanisms underlying, and identifies potential treatments for, neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease, ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury and aging-related CNS degeneration. The Division was established in 1999 with $3 million initial grant funding, and continues to be very successful in attracting grants from national and international funding agencies.

DND members:

Dr. Paul Fernyhough (Director) is focused on the impact of diabetes on neuron function in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Studies show that severity of Alzheimer’s Disease is increased in patients with diabetes and studies support an interaction between the diabetic state and Alzheimer’s Disease at the intracellular level. He is particularly interested in the role of insulin signaling in neurons and its role in controlling neuronal metabolism. Dr. Fernyhough is Professor and Department Head of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Benedict C. Albensi is studying mechanisms of altered synaptic plasticity that lead to memory impairments. Dr. Albensi has been accepted to the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), which provides infrastructure and support that facilitates collaboration amongst Canada’s top dementia researchers. He is a Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, holds the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair (MDRC), and the Everett Endowment Fund Chair.

Dr. Gordon Glazner is studying mechanisms of neuronal death in Alzheimer’s Disease. His group studies the role of key transcription factors, such a NF-kappaB, in the neuronal response to insult. Neuronal signalling pathways affected by amyloid-beta treatment are being investigated with a central element being affects on calcium homeostasis within the neuron. Dr. Glazner is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba.

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