Annual Conference on Alzheimer's

 Medical Sciences Building 

 U of T St. George

 Monday, March 16th





SAAUT Presents

Please feel free to visit last year's conference site here, and also view the full conference gallery here.

 Featured Speakers 

 Jennifer Boger, Ph.D., P. Eng. 


Talk: Intelligent assistive technologies for supporting people who have dementia


Dr. Jennifer Boger has been an active researcher in the field of intelligent assistive technologies for enhancing the safety and independence of older adults and people with disabilities for more than a decade. She is a Professional Engineer with a Ph.D. in Life and Health Sciences from the University of Ulster. She is currently the Research Manager for the Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab (IATSL) at the University of Toronto and the Manager of the AI & Robotics group at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She is an author on over 50 publications related to pervasive assistive technology, including co-editing the book “Technology and Aging” (IOS Press), and authoring an official position paper on Privacy by Design in collaboration with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. She is actively involved in international organisations such as the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) and Aging2.0. In addition to the application of artificial intelligence to assistive technology, Jennifer’s interests include user-centred design, advancement of zero-effort technologies, elicitation and implementation of user preferences and privacy, and encouraging collaboration between the diverse spectrum of stakeholders involved in the field of ambient assistive technologies.

 Ekaterina Rogaeva, Ph.D 


Talk: Alzheimer's Disease and Underlying Genetic Causes


Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva obtained her PhD in Biochemistry at Moscow State University (Russia) in 1988. Since 1992, she has been conducting molecular genetics research on a variety of neurodegenerative diseases at the University of Toronto, Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (Canada). In 2001, Dr. Rogaeva was the recipient the “New Pioneer Award” in Science & Technology category (government of Ontario, Canada) for her efforts in studying the genetics of neurodegenerative disorders. Currently, Dr. Rogaeva is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Neurology Division at the University of Toronto and obtained the Chair position in Research on Dementia with Lewy Bodies in 2013.


During the past 20 years Dr. Rogaeva has contributed substantially to the development of effective genetic testing of different forms of dementia in clinical practice. For instance, she played a central role in the discovery and characterization of the two presenilin genes responsible for the most aggressive early-onset form of Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as SORL1 gene associated with common form of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Rogaeva is the author of 200 peer-reviewed publications and among top-10 Canadian neuroscientists based on the highest impact papers in 2013-2014.

 David Munoz, MSc, MD, FRCPC 


Talk: Impact of Anti-inflammatory Medication on the Development of Signature Lesions of Alzheimer's disease


Dr. David Munoz holds an MD from Navarre and MSc in Pathology from Queen’s University, Ontario. He trained in neurology and neuropathology and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1984. He has practiced in Vermont, Saskatoon, London (ON), Madrid, and Toronto, and briey in Vancouver. He is currently a Neuropathologist and Head, Division of Pathology at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, and Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto. He is the author of 194 peer-reviewed papers, 20 book chapters, and co-author of one book. He has held research grants in Canada (MRC and CIHR) and USA (NIH). His research interest is focused on neuropathology, particularly the mechanisms of development and progression of degenerative diseases of the brain, including Alzheimer's disease, the non-Alzheimer dementias, movement disorders, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

 Nathan Herrmann, MD, FRCPC 


Talk: Drug Development for Alzheimer’s Disease: The Long and Winding Road


Dr. Herrmann's major contribution to neuroscience research is in the clinical pharmacology of dementia, including the treatment of cognitive impairment and behavioral and psychological symptoms. He has published numerous studies on the pharmacotherapy of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia that involve the use of novel agents, which attempt to determine the underlying neurobiology of these disorders. He has been a lead author in the Canadian Consensus Conference on Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia, providing evidence-based treatment guidelines for Canadian physicians. Dr. Herrmann serves as head of Geriatric Psychiatry, and co-director of the Clinical Neuropharmacology Laboratory at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He is also a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine.

 Samir Sinha, MD, PhD, FRCPC 


Talk: Building a Dementia Strategy for Ontario: Pipe Dreams or Possibilities?


Dr. Samir Sinha currently serves as the Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals in Toronto and also holds the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. In 2012, Samir was appointed as the expert lead of Ontario's Seniors Strategy to advise the Government of Ontario on how to support older adults to stay healthy and live at home longer. He is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Samir further serves as Chair of the Health Professionals Advisory Committee of the Toronto Central LHIN and is a Medical Adviser to the Toronto Central Community Access Centre (CCAC).

 Katherine McGilton, PhD, RN 


Talk: Person centred dementia care


Katherine McGilton is a Senior Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network and Associate Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. She has research funding as the principal investigator from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Alzheimer Society of Canada, Nursing Research Fund, MOH&LTC, and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. The focus of her research is on enhancing the care of the older adult, especially those with dementia, through the development and application of interventions, outcome measures and models of care in practice. She also developed a model of care for rehabilitating complex patients post-hip fracture surgery, targeting patients with cognitive impairment that was subsequently evaluated in an investigator-initiated, multi-site clinical trial.

 Morris Freedman, MD, FRCPC 


Talk: Clinical heterogeneity and cognitive assessment in Alzheimer’s disease


Dr. Morris Freedman, MD, FRCPC, is head of Neurology, director of the Behavioural Neurology Program and director of the Brain Health Centre Memory Clinic at Baycrest. He is a professor in the division of Neurology, department of Medicine, University of Toronto, and director of the Behavioural Neurology Section, division of Neurology, University of Toronto. He is also a staff scientist at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest, and a staff neurologist at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Freedman is conducting research aimed at improving our understanding of the mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia. A major focus is on the study of social cognition in these disorders. He is also actively involved in the development of cognitive assessment procedures in dementia. He and his colleagues have written a book on clock drawing that contains a large set of normative data and have developed a mental status examination, called the Behavioural Neurology Assessment, that is suitable for use by physicians in the office setting.

Dr. Freedman is actively involved with the World Federation of Neurology as the representative for Canada and co-chair of the newly formed Task Force on eLearning. He co-chairs monthly international videoconference rounds in Behavioural Neurology that includes international participants from Canada, Israel, Jordan and the West Bank, and participation is growing.

 Sandra Black, MA, MD, FRCPC 


Talk: Advances in neuroimaging in Alzheimer’s Disease: How computational analysis and molecular imaging are changing the landscape


Sandra Black, MD, FRCP(C) is an internationally renowned cognitive and stroke neurologist who holds the inaugural Brill Chair in Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. A leading clinical trialist in dementia, she is the current Executive Director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a multi institutional collaborative network of memory programs at the University of Toronto. She is also the Sunnybrook Site Director of the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program Director at Sunnybrook Research Institute. In 2011 she was named to the Order of Ontario, “for being an assiduous physician leader and influential architect of the Ontario Stroke System, a specialized continuum from prevention to reintegration.” She has authored/ co-authored over 430 papers in a 25-year research career that has bridged dementia and stroke using neuroimaging to study brain behavior relationships, with a recent focus on interactions of Small Vessel Disease and Alzheimer’s disease. She has earned numerous mentorship and research awards, including election to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012, one of the highest honours accorded to Canadian scholars, cited for “combining enormous dedication to patients with cutting-edge science”

 David Tang-Wai, MDCM, FRCPC 


Talk: A New Treatment? DBS in Alzheimer's Disease


Dr. David F. Tang-Wai is an assistant professor in Neurology and Geriatric Medicine with the University of Toronto. He is co-director of the UHN Memory Clinic, the residency program director of the adult neurology program at the University of Toronto, and the director of clinical services in neurology at the University Health Network. He currently sees and cares for patients with dementia and their caregivers. He works at the University Health Network Memory Clinic and the Centre for Mental Health and Addictions Memory Clinic. He teaches the medical students, residents, fellows, and the public about dementia.


Dr. Tang-Wai received his medical degree from McGill University and completed his neurology residency and behavioural neurology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. He is the lead for the clinical harmonization group of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA). Research interests include the atypical presentations of Alzheimer’s disease, including posterior cortical atrophy, driving and dementia, treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with DBS (with Dr. Lozano) and the progressive aphasias.

 Natalie Warrick, MSc, PhD Candidate 


Talk: Dementia Research and Care: Opportunities for Government


Natalie is a Research Associate with the Balance of Care Research and Evaluation Group and PhD Student at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She holds a Master’s in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, and dual Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. Natalie has worked at the Alzheimer Society of Toronto over the past four years where she has lead the innovative Caregiver Framework for Seniors Program. This program provides self-directed respite supports to informal caregivers and engages community partners to heighten the profile of the crucial need for supports across the continuum of health and social care. Natalie’s dissertation research is focused on the economic security for informal caregivers and the long-term health consequences of their employment-related wage loss. Through her work Natalie hopes to advance knowledge of the ways in which Governments can play a vital important role in efforts to support persons living with dementia and their caregivers through broader economic policy, through regulatory and legislative action and as providers and funder of health and social services. In this presentation Natalie will discuss the roles of Governments in Dementia Research and Care as it pertains to the use of big data.