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The research activities of our integrated interdisciplinary team are focused and driven by the needs of patients and families attending UBCH CARD.
The Alzheimer disease research programs at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health are led by a team of distinguished investigators with expertise spanning the continuum from discovery research to translational and clinical research. These individuals—many of whom have achieved the highest honours of their profession—are internationally renowned for their field-changing contributions, including discoveries on the genetics and inheritance of the dementias, elucidation of the causes and potential novel treatment targets for Alzheimer disease, and contributing to the reshaping of the field toward earlier intervention and disease prevention.
The program is deeply committed to ensuring that research progress is translated seamlessly to clinical care through its engagement in the development of clinical practice guidelines, public policy, and through leadership on national/global research initiatives.
The clinic strives to be at the vanguard of Alzheimer disease care, engaging in research to investigate the disease from all angles, including the root causes and underlying mechanisms for effective prevention, early detection, advanced treatment, and interventions to improve quality of life.
Currently Enrolling research studies (2019)
A MINT for AD Phase 1 Study
The purpose of this study is to learn about the safety and tolerability of a supplement containing a type of dietary fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are a unique type of fat, with the richest dietary sources being coconut and palm oils. A growing body of evidence suggests MCT dietary supplements can provide the brain with an alternate source of fuel that may enhance cognition and preserve everyday function in individuals at risk of or affected by Alzheimer disease (AD). This phase 1 study aims to determine the safety and tolerability of this dietary supplement across a range of doses and whether it improves some of the brain metabolic impairments in early disease. For those with mild to moderate severity AD. For more information please contact Penny Slack at 604-822-6379 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oxytocin bvFTD Study
The clinical trial will investigate whether oxytocin has any effect on controlling some of the behavioural symptoms in FTD. We will also monitor for any side-effects that one might experience during the treatment period. The duration of this study is 12 weeks.
The study investigators are examining whether certain types of blood pressure medications may have an added benefit of slowing the progression of AD. The two blood pressure medications being compared in this study are called telmisartan and perindopril. Both medications are commonly used and currently approved by Health Canada for treating high blood pressure.
This study is a continuation of the ADNI-2 study and will open to enrolment of new participants. The purpose of this study is to collect brain scans, blood samples, memory test scores, and cerebrospinal fluid from people with AD, MCI, or no memory impairment. These data may help characterize the early stages of AD, and shape the criteria for earlier diagnosis and treatment of AD. They may also influence future clinical trials that focus on identifying and treating early AD.
The purpose of this study is to identify the biochemical and genetic basis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and to better understand the clinical and cognitive features of the disease. These data may improve our diagnostic techniques and lead to new treatments for FTD. To date our research group has identified two novel gene mutations that cause FTD (Progranulin and C9ORF72).
The purpose of this study is to build a Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) clinical research consortium to support the development of FTLD therapies for future clinical trials. The consortium, “Advancing Research and Treatment for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration” (ARTFL) will bring together leading behavioural and movement disorder researchers across North America.
The aim of this study is to look at usefulness of imaging studies, genetic tests and measurements of memory and thinking in AD and white matter disease. By using these advanced techniques we can compare changes in the brain over a year.
This observational study, conducted by the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration and Aging (CCNA), will evaluate the usefulness of imaging studies, clinical assessments, and biomarker tests, together with measurements of memory, thinking, and daily functioning, for assessing different sorts of cognitive and movement changes seen in older adults.
Microbiome in AD study
Recent evidence suggests a connection between the gut and the brain, and that certain conditions in the gut might be associated with neurological diseases. Research suggests that people with Alzheimer's Disease differ from healthy controls with respect to the bacteria (microbiome) present in their gut, however further research is needed. This project aims to study whether changes in the microbiome of the gut or oral cavity can be correlated to markers and clinical measures of Alzheimer's Disease.
The CARD Study
The goal of this study is to gather as much information as possible on all patients referred for a clinical assessment. Blood samples collected for DNA extraction, serum and plasma banking may identify biomarkers and risk-factor genes associated with a particular type of dementia. These discoveries may lead to an improved diagnosis and treatment of dementia.
Upcoming research studies
- Stay tuned for upcoming studies in 2019.
- Stay tuned for upcoming studies in 2019.
Ongoing, but closed to enrollment
The study evaluates whether 2 amyloid lowering agents, solenezumab, or gantenerumab, both antibodies which bind to amyloid beta, can prevent or delay the onset of memory loss in subjects who are at risk of developing memory problems due to an autosomal dominant genetically inherited form of AD. Participants do not have to know about their genetic status, but there must be a proven mutation in the family.
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of monthly doses of aducanumab in slowing memory loss in people diagnosed with MCI or AD. The protein amyloid beta is found in higher amount s in the brains of people with AD. Aducanumab is a recombinant human monoclonal antibody that binds to amyloid in the brain and therefore may remove existing plaques.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether the use of solanezumab, a monoclonal antibody which binds to amyloid beta, can slow memory loss in participants who may be at risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD). Amyloid beta is a component of amyloid plaques which are found in patients with AD. It is thought that AD-related damage to the brain begins many years before the symptoms of memory loss emerge, and is hoped that starting treatment very early will help slow the progression of memory loss.
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of monthly doses of creneuzumab in slowing memory loss in people diagnosed with MCI or AD. The protein amyloid beta is found in higher amount s in the brains of people with AD. Creneuzumab is a recombinant human monoclonal antibody that binds to amyloid in the brain and therefore may remove existing plaques.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in progressive non-fluent aphasia (PNFA)
This is a pilot study to investigate whether transcranial magnetic simulation has any beneficial effect on speech and language function in patients with PNFA. It is a 12-week cross over study and speech function will be measured before and after TMS treatments.
The purpose of this study is to collect brain scans, blood samples, memory test scores, and cerebrospinal fluid from people with AD, MCI, or no memory impairment. These data may help characterize the early stages of AD, and shape the criteria for earlier diagnosis and treatment of AD. They may also influence future clinical trials that focus on identifying and treating early AD.
This study is being done to learn more about normal thinking and behaviour, mild thinking and behaviour problems, FTD and other forms of dementia in families in which one or more relatives have a mutation in one of the three major genes associated with FTD (GRN, MAPT and C9ORF72).