When to worry about memory loss and what to do about it

Dementia researchers, experts and innovators discuss the latest research on the early detection and prevention of dementia, as well as innovations in aging and brain health at the upcoming Rotman Research Institute annual conference, Aging & Brain Health: Prevention & Early Detection of Dementia, on March 18 - 20.

TORONTO, March 14, 2019 /CNW/ - Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. For many people who find themselves having more memory slip ups as they age, the lingering question becomes: When is my forgetfulness severe enough to be a sign of dementia?

Dementia experts will weigh in at a public talk and roundtable discussion hosted by Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute as part of its annual conference, Aging & Brain Health: Prevention & Early Detection of Dementia, on March 19 at 7 p.m.

The public event will feature a one-hour talk, Memory loss and aging: When to worry about it and what to do about it, by Dr. Howard Chertkow, a distinguished cognitive neurologist, who will share what memory mistakes adults should be concerned about and the latest evidence on what people can do to help prevent dementia. Over the last 30 years, Dr. Chertkow has diagnosed and treated patients with early stage Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and he led the team that created the internationally-adopted screening tool for cognitive loss, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).

Following his lecture, attendees will have an opportunity to direct their questions to a panel of memory and dementia experts, including Dr. Chertkow, Dr. Richard Sztramko, a geriatrician and assistant professor at McMaster University, and founder of a dementia resource, iGeriCare; Dr. Gillian Einstein, a scientist specializing in women's brain health and aging at the University of Toronto; Dr. Saskia Sivananthan, chief research & KTE officer at the Alzheimer Society of Canada; Scott Russell, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto; and Phyllis Fehr, an individual living with dementia. The event will be moderated by Dr. Allison Sekuler, vice-president, research and the Sandra A. Rotman Chair at Baycrest.

"Making simple memory mistakes is considered a normal part of aging. The challenge is deciding when the memory loss is abnormal," says Dr. Chertkow, Chair in Cognitive Neurology and Innovation and senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute. "While we still don't have a cure for Alzheimer's disease, people should mention any significant memory changes to their family doctor since there are drugs and therapies being developed to potentially slow dementia's onset."

Today, more than half a million Canadians are living with dementia. In less than 15 years, this figure is expected to nearly double, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Researchers have uncovered steps that adults at any age can start taking to decrease their chances of developing Alzheimer's, adds Dr. Chertkow.

This public event is part of a three-day series of presentations and roundtables that will bring together leading experts in dementia prevention and early detection to discuss the latest findings and ongoing research in the field.

Some of the research to be discussed will include:

    --  How what we eat affects brain function and the impact of lifestyle in
        protecting brain health - Dr. Carol Greenwood, Rotman Research Institute
    --  How does exercise affect the brain and our cognitive health - Dr. Teresa
        Liu-Ambrose, University of British Columbia
    --  How bilingualism delays the onset of dementia - Dr. Ellen Bialystok,
        York University
    --  The future of early detection and prevention dementia research and
        updates from the largest dementia study in Canada - Dr. Howard Chertkow,
        Rotman Research Institute

A new addition to this year's program is What's Next Canada's Inaugural Innovation Day, the industry's premier event for networking, collaboration, and learning in the aging and brain health sector.

Co-produced by the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), powered by Baycrest, and Mary Furlong & Associates, the Innovation Day will include:

    --  A pitch competition where a roster of international companies will vie
        for the 2019 CABHI Innovation Award
        --  This event will feature a number of the latest technologies in the
            seniors' sector including robotics, virtual reality, brain health
            assessment tools, artificial intelligence, and much more. Judges for
            this event include Bruce Croxon, co-founder of venture capital firm
            Round13, co-host of The Disruptors on BNN and CTV and former Dragon
            from CBC's Dragon's Den; Dr. Marc Rothman, Director at The Thrive
            Center KY; and John Hopper, Chief Investment Officer, Ziegler
            LinkAge Longevity Fund. The event will be moderated by Richard Lui,
            news anchor from MSNBC/NBC News, who will share his personal story
            on dementia.
    --  Sessions covering the following topics:
        --  Digital transformation, virtual reality and augmented reality -
            Carrie Shaw, Embodied Labs; Chris Brickler, MyndVR; Cindy Plunkett,
            Baycrest; and Mandy Salomon, Mentia.
        --  Partnerships and investment in aging and brain health - Dr. Dana
            Plude, National Institute on Aging; John Hopper, Ziegler LinkAge
            Longevity Fund; Alexandra Stewart, Weston Brain Institute.
        --  Intersection of healthcare and technology - Ginna Baik, CDW
            Healthcare; Ted Chang, Quanta Computer Inc. Taiwan; Jeh Kazimi,

For more information on the 2019 Rotman Research Institute Conference, visit: http://research.baycrest.org/conf2019-confprog.

About Baycrest

Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world's top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti - a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org

About Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute

Now in its 30(th) year, the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest is a premier international centre for the study of human brain function. Through generous support from private donors and funding agencies, the institute is helping to illuminate the causes of cognitive decline in seniors, identify promising approaches to treatment and lifestyle practices that will protect brain health longer in the lifespan.

About the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI)
The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, powered by Baycrest, is a solution accelerator for the aging and brain health sector, providing funding and support to innovators for the development, testing and dissemination of new ideas and technologies that address unmet brain health and seniors' care needs. Established in 2015, it is the result of the largest investment in brain health and aging in Canadian history. CABHI is a unique collaboration of healthcare, science, industry, not-for-profit and government partners. CABHI's objective is to help improve quality of life for the world's aging population, allowing older adults to age safely in the setting of their choice while maintaining their cognitive, emotional and physical well-being. For more information on CABHI, please visit: www.cabhi.com.

SOURCE Baycrest