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Published on: March 20, 2019
by Women’s Brain Health Initiative:
The national charity Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI) believes that the announcement in the Federal Budget of $50 Million in funding for a National Dementia Strategy is a crucial and welcome step in Canada’s response to a pressing public health challenge.
“This funding will help improve the quality of life of people living with dementia, as well as their caregivers,” said WBHI Founder and CEO Lynn Posluns.
Ms. Posluns added that she was pleased to learn that the Government of Canada’s budget also committed $40 Million to the Brain Canada Foundation, adding to previous Government matching funds totalling $120M. The funding will help reinforce the foundation’s crucial leadership role, both in supporting research, and in helping to move research into action. Brain Canada is a valued partner, providing important funding for WBHI’s Mind Over Matter® magazine, a widely-read publication that delivers timely reporting on brain health and new advances in research.
Ms. Posluns called for the dementia strategy to include a focus on prevention, which is at the heart of WBHI’s mission. Through its suite of educational programs, including Mind Over Matter®, Women’s Brain Health Initiative seeks to shift the way society views and manages brain health, encouraging people of all ages to make lifestyle choices that can ward off dementia and allow us to spend more years living productively and independently.
“Let’s do more to educate Canadians about the best ways of preserving their cognitive vitality,” she said. “If we can delay the onset of dementia by 10 years, we’ll virtually wipe it out.”
Ms. Posluns also recommended that the National Dementia Strategy recognize that dementia hits women and men disproportionately and that research projects must include explorations of sex and gender differences.
More than half a million Canadians are living with dementia and that number is expected to grow by 66% by the year 2031. Women are twice as likely as men to develop dementia and almost 70 per cent of new Alzheimer’s patients will be women, but research has traditionally focused on men. Since launching in 2012, Women’s Brain Health Initiative has sought to change that approach, quickly growing into an internationally-recognized champion of the need to explore sex and gender differences.
WBHI is proud to have joined with other dedicated individuals and organizations in contributing to the national conversation about dementia and is determined to continue to be a constructive voice in helping Canada and the world deal with this scourge.
Along with its educational initiatives, WBHI advocates for the wellbeing of caregivers and for alleviating the stigma associated with dementia. WBHI also funds ground breaking research, including the world’s first research chair dedicated to exploring women’s brain health and aging, led by Dr. Gillian Einstein at the University of Toronto.
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