Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders

Clinical Activities

With our team of clinicians, we evaluate patients with a range of neurodegenerative and other geriatric cognitive disorders.

Neurologists: Dr. Howard Feldman, Dr. Dean Foti, and Dr. Robin Hsiung

Geriatricians: Dr. Lynn Beattie and Dr. Philip Lee

Geriatric Psychiatrist: Dr. Margo Genge

The Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders is the main tertiary care referral center in B.C. for dementia assessment and management. New referrals are evaluated by a range of multidisciplinary assessments including genetic counseling, social work, neuropsychology, geriatrics, geriatric psychiatry and neurology each of which make seminal contributions to the multifaceted clinical care needed for dementia patients and their families.

The clinic is also recognized as one of the most accomplished specialty clinics and clinical dementia research centers in Canada. To learn more about the clinic, please click here.

Research Activities

Drs. Hsiung, Jacova, Lee, and Beattie are working closely with the team of researchers (Drs. McClure & Chappell) in University of Victoria on the Alzheimer Drug Therapeutic Initiative (ADTI) program, which provides coverage of cholinesterase inhibitors to AD patients, to examine the effectiveness of the drugs in our population.

Dr. Mackenzie (Neuropathology) and Dr. Hsiung, together with collaborators from the Mayo Clinic and UCSF, have identified a new mutation in a novel gene C9ORF72 responsible for frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

Newer disease-modifying agents such as gamma secretase inhibitors that decrease amyloid production are also being investigated in prodromal AD. We are also a centre for the Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a multi-million project co-funded by the NIH and CIHR to develop early biomarkers for AD.

Drs. Hsiung and Jacova, together with Dr. Kevin Kirkland, Music Therapist, are carrying out a randomized controlled trial on group music therapy in AD patients.

Dr. Hsiung has also established a HIV-cognitive disorder clinic with the HIV team at St. Paul’s Hospital to examine the clinical and biological characteristics of HIV patients who are medically stable on highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) but continue to develop progressive cognitive impairment.

Dr. Weihong Song (Dept of Psychiatry) is collaborating on a study to examine RNA expression in mild cognitive impairment and AD

Dr. Jeffries (Biomedical Research Centre) is collaborating on a study to examine the role of Amyloid Precursor Protein on platelet functions.

Teaching Activities

Our group continues to be active in providing teaching to trainees of multiple disciplines from undergraduate to post-doctoral levels. Dr. Sunsern Limsoontarakul, neurologist from Thailand, and Dr. Young Chul Youn, a Visiting Professor from Korea, both have completed their training with us this year and returned to their respective countries as consultant specialists in cognitive neurology and dementia. Dr. Ardeshir Omoumi has joined as a research fellow. Drs. Jacova and Hsiung are supervising graduate students Amir Sepehry, Lillian Yang, Elizabeth Dao, and Talitha Greenwood in the Neuroscience and Medical Genetics program.

Community Services

We held a highly successful public forum during the month of January (Alzheimer Awareness Month) to update our clinic patients and families on the current research on dementia. Our faculty has frequently provided advices and expert comments to the media (i.e. Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Global News, and radio shows) regarding the newest discoveries in AD and dementia.

Members

  • Dr. Beckman
  • Dr. Feldman
  • Dr. Foti
  • Dr. Hsiung

Research Group

  • Dr. Hallam
    Dr. Hayden
  • Dr. Jacova
  • Dr. Mackenzie

Affiliated Non-Divisional Members

  • Dr. Beattie
  • Dr. Genge
  • Dr. Kirkland
  • Dr. Lee