Dr. Adachi and Dr. Hamden are advancing early detection methods for dementia
CLEAR is excited to announce, in partnership with Michael Smith Health Research BC, its co-funding of two new research funding initiatives bringing us that much closer to curing all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
It’s because of donors like YOU that CLEAR had the opportunity to co-fund two researchers within both The Scholar Program (Dr. Michael Adachi) and The Research Trainee Program (Dr. Jordan Hamden) competitions.
Dr. Adachi: Developing Sensors for rapid detection of biomarker proteins for Alzheimer disease.
Biomarkers are measurable indicators that help determine if a person may have or be at risk of developing a disease. Researchers have identified phosphorylated tau (p-tau) proteins and small proteins called cytokines to be promising biomarkers for Alzheimer’s. To detect these biomarkers in blood samples, very sensitive detection methods are needed. Existing methods have drawbacks such as being expensive and time-consuming, therefore limiting their availability to people in Canada.
Dr. Adachi has developed a new sensor that can detect proteins at ultra-low concentrations using a simple and rapid test. His goal now is to make a rapid and easy-to-use tool that can be used by clinicians to help diagnose Alzheimer disease for personalized health monitoring.
Dr. Hamden: In vitro diagnostics for frontotemporal dementia
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a group of devastating brain diseases associated with progressive decline in behaviour, language, and movement. FTD is the second most common form of dementia in those under 65 years of age.
In the early stages of the disease when symptoms are very mild, FTD can be difficult to identify due to being similar to other neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s. Therefore, a reliable biofluid test is needed to help with an early and accurate diagnosis.
In his research, Dr. Hamden is using state-of-the-art analytical techniques to develop a diagnostic test that can identify individuals with FTD. His team is now examining how the test performs in individuals with FTD compared to other diseases that have similar symptoms, with the end goal to create a new diagnostic test for early detection.
Accurate diagnosis for all types of dementia is critical to ensure efficient access to medical care and social programs, in addition to helping the development of new treatments for FTD.