More than half a million Canadians currently live with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias – affecting one out of every four Canadians over the age of 85. Before COVID-19, this number was expected to nearly double within the next 10 years, and the pandemic is likely speeding that growth, creating an even more urgent health crisis.
Research from Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI) and elsewhere has found both direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on the brain, which may lead to an increase in the incidence of dementia for many years to come. Increased funding for research and innovation is crucial to tackle this imminent challenge
Older adults bore the brunt of the pandemic, with dementia the most common disease associated with COVID-19 deaths. It is imperative that the lessons learned lead to good. The pandemic reaffirmed the need for an ongoing commitment to research that will lead to new and much needed innovative solutions that improve ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Leading the field of brain health and aging, work at the RRI and Baycrest’s Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) serves everyone across Canada, including remote communities. By helping us better understand healthy aging and cognitive decline, RRI research promotes effective care and improved quality of life for older adults throughout the country. To improve the aging experience for us all, CABHI is bringing together older adults, caregivers, care providers, innovators, researchers, and system partners to identify, develop, evaluate, implement, and adopt the most promising solutions – keeping seniors safe while growing the economy.
Increased funding for both research and innovation is crucial to support seniors’ health and well-being, so we can create a world in which everyone can age fearlessly.