Dec 21, 2023

TDRA 2023 End of the Year Message

Dear TDRA community member,

As 2023 comes to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. There is much to be concerned about in the world today.  A few bright spots, however, are the advances in dementia research and care, and diagnostics and therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease.  These advances represent much-needed hope for patients both worldwide and here in Canada, and are the direct result of years of focused and high-quality research.

Over the past year, TDRA has been proud to support dementia research funding and training opportunities throughout our network and beyond.  Work funded in part or wholly by TDRA this past year includes:

  • January, 2023 TDRA co-funded Graduate Diploma in Health Research (GDipHR) student Julie Midroni, under supervisor Dr. Andrew Lim of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
  • June, 2023 TDRA co-funded Comprehensive Research Experience for Medical Students (CREMS) student Pooja Sankar, working with research supervisor Dr. Amer Burhan of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
  • September, 2023 TDRA awarded the inaugural TDRA Scholarship for Graduate Dementia Research by Black Students to two individuals: Tristin Best – under the supervision of Dr. Natalie Phillips of Concordia University and Dr. Howard Chertkow of Baycrest – and Chinaza Dibia, under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Aubert of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
  • November, 2023 TDRA presented the third Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Seed Fund competition awards to studies by principal investigators Drs. Minna Woo (Unity Health Network) and Thomas Prevot (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health); Drs. Corinne Fischer (Unity Health Toronto), Simon Graham (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) and Tom Schweizer (Unity Health Toronto); and Drs. Mark Rapoport (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), Gary Naglie (Baycrest) and Sayeh Bayat (University of Calgary).

TDRA developed and hosted a number of CME accredited professional educational events over the year:  

  • May 2023*, TDRA held a course featuring Drs. Carmela Tartaglia, David Tang-Wai, and Luca Pisterzi, which gave primary care physicians and update on dementia symptomology and introduced a standardized clinical MRI protocol for dementia.
  • June 2023, TDRA held a course featuring Drs. Carmela Tartaglia and Paula Alcaide Leon, which introduced the common clinical MRI imaging protocol as well as a standardized approach to reporting on these images. This course is available through Raducate.
  • November 2023, TDRA leveraged the breadth of expertise on neuromodulation present within its network, to host a one-day workshop on Neuromodulation for Neurocognitive Disorders.

Finally, we reflect on a year of meaningful engagement with people with lived experience of dementia. In 2023, our research recruitment site co-managed with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto (AST) added its 50th study, and connected the 200th individual with TDRA researchers.

At TDRA we are guided in everything we do by the Lived Experience Advisory Partners (LEAP) Council. We take this opportunity to thank Drs. David Bogart, Carmela Tartaglia and Sanjeev Kumar for their excellent leadership of the council since its inception in 2019. We look forward to working with our new leaders Chaitali Desai, and Drs. Mary Chiu and Huang Wai (Ho) Yu, starting in 2024.

Wishing you a happy holiday and we look forward to reconnecting with you in the new year. 

Dr. Tarek K. Rajji and the TDRA team

*Content to be available on the TDRA portal shortly