REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2012) - As the world recognizes Alzheimer's Month 2012, delegates attending the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan's annual conference learned how the federal and provincial governments are supporting revolutionary diagnostic and treatment tools that could delay early onset or even prevent Alzheimer's disease.
The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are investing $1.6 million to enable Darrell Mousseau and his team at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) to purchase neuroimaging equipment to identify changes in brain chemistry which may trigger early onset of Alzheimer's.
"I'm proud of our Government's investment in the development of technology that may delay the onset, and facilitate early diagnosis, of Alzheimer's disease," said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. "The commercialization of new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies supports our Government's commitment to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity."
The neuroimaging equipment will enable the U of S to establish a database or 'brain bank' for long-term monitoring of the anatomy and function of brains in live animals. This brain bank will provide unprecedented opportunities to develop new pharmaceuticals to treat Alzheimer's related changes in brain function. At the conclusion of the two-year project, a team at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine aims to develop and patent two biotechnologies to delay and prevent Alzheimer's.
"Saskatchewan has been a leader providing quality health care through the support and adoption of cutting edge health technologies developed by the province's innovation sector," Economy Minister Bill Boyd said. "The success of neuroimaging equipment will improve the quality of life for our citizens and boost our knowledge economy - an economy that generates millions of dollars and attracts highly skilled scientists and technicians to our universities and research institutions."
A research institute's ability to offer modern, fully-equipped lab space is essential to recruiting talented and experienced personnel. Utilizing the equipment acquired through government funding, the U of S will create new highly-skilled jobs to pursue this breakthrough.
"Alzheimer's disease is likely to become a greater challenge as our population ages," said U of S Vice President Research Karen Chad. "The knowledge this research is creating, with the aid of these new tools promises to have an impact both in preventing and treating this devastating illness."
The Alzheimer Society and Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation are contributing $800,000 to the project.
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