Children and youth who help care for family members with special needs are not adequately supported by community service agencies, according to new research from the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) at the University of Waterloo. Estimates suggest that up to 12 per cent of Canadians under the age of 25 are young carers.
Saint Elizabeth Health Care in Markham, Ontario has received federal support for improving the care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This is in response to the growing number of people living with dementia, increasing the need for specialized care. The financial support will be put towards staff training and education. This federal support aligns with the Government of Canada’s Health Care Policy Contribution Program, an initiative to help healthcare facilities to run programs that ensure leading care practices.
Research done at the University of Cambridge in England has involved a discovery in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This delay is the result of a molecule that is found in the brain naturally and ‘cleans up’ accumulated protein that causes Alzheimer’s disease to progress. The discovery of this molecule having such a powerful impact on the course of Alzheimer’s disease brings forth the challenge of developing a drug treatment. This process is very complicated, but allows for scientists to pursue a new avenue in diminishing this disease once and for all.
Federal support has been given to a new initiative called MEND. MEND is an international commitment to research of brain diseases involving dementia. The number of people affected by dementia across the globe is increasing at an alarming rate. Because of this, it is important for countries to come together in advancing our knowledge and treatment methods for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. The MEND program is a collaboration between Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom to improve dementia research, bringing a cure within reach.
Although Alzheimer’s disease is only attributed to genetic inheritance in a small percentage of cases, researcher and professor, Jerold Chun, has discovered many genes that are repeatedly found in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Chun compares the DNA in the brain to an artist’s mosaic, with many differences between each brain cell and across all people. According to this research, recognizing particular genes in different brain cells can explain the reasoning behind an individual developing Alzheimer’s disease, and can also offer clues as to how each person should be treated.