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TACKLing the challenges of PREsymptomatic sporadic Dementia – The TACKL-PRED Study

Principal Investigator:
  • Mario Masellis, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Team Members:
  • AmanPreet Badhwar, Université de Montréal
  • Derek Beaton, St. Michael's Hospital Center for Research Methods and Data
  • Malcolm Binns, Baycrest Health Sciences
  • Roger Dixon, University of Alberta
  • Howard Chertkow, McGill University
  • Women's Brain Health Initiative
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Project Overview

Dementia is becoming more prevalent with the aging of the baby boomer population and is imposing a major challenge to society, both from a financial and social perspective. Individuals suffering from dementia experience memory loss and decline in other mental abilities, which significantly impacts their quality of life. As a result, their function in society is lost and they become dependent on their family members to provide care to them. The risk for developing dementia is complex, but not yet fully understood. It involves a combination of demographic (age, sex, education), genetic (DNA sequence), cardiovascular (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking) and lifestyle (lack of exercise) factors that increases risk for dementia. Novel methods of better understanding this complex risk profile and being able to modify it to reduce the occurrence of dementia are urgently needed. The international TACKL-PRED study will leverage ‘big’ data from several Canadian neurodegenerative disease cohorts (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative [ONDRI], Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging [CCNA], Sunnybrook Dementia Study [SDS] and the Brain Eye Amyloid Memory [BEAM] study), and a population-based aging cohort from the Netherlands, the Rotterdam Study, to disentangle the complexity underlying risk for dementia. Biomarker experts from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden are also part of the team. Analyses will examine how an individual’s genetic, demographic and cardiovascular background may interact to worsen dementia presentation and/or increase risk of developing dementia. Using these personalized/precision medicine approaches, we hope to be able to improve upon the management and prevention of dementia in the future, thus reducing its impact on Canadians.