Unless a way is found to prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Canada and the world will see rates of dementia high enough to cause grave health, societal, and economic harm.
John Breitner, MD, has devoted his career to investigating factors that modify an individual’s risk of developing AD. His work first sought to identify risk factors that could be countered by treatments, in the same way that risk of cardiovascular disease can be countered by treatment for high blood pressure.
Surprisingly, most of the specific factors that Breitner and others discovered did not increase the risk of dementia, but appeared instead to diminish it! Simulating the effects of these candidate “protective factors” provided a different potential pathway to the prevention of AD.
For the past decade, Breitner has led the pioneering Alzheimer’s Disease Anti-inflammatory Prevention Trial (ADAPT) – one of only a handful of large primary prevention trials designed to test the abilities of a specific intervention to reduce the incidence of AD in non-demented elderly people.
John Breitner was thus recruited to the Douglas to lead a new Centre for Studies on Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (StoP-AD). The Centre’s research program evaluates how well prevention treatments work in individuals who possess certain biomarkers thought to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. These biomarkers include biochemical changes and neuroimaging measures that appear to track the development of AD in its pre-symptomatic stages.