Diseases of the brain represent one of the greatest challenges to global medical health in the 21st century. Ten million Canadians—or nearly one-third of Canada’s population—will be affected by brain disease, disorder or brain injury at some time in their life. Aside from the physical and emotional burdens for those affected, as well as for their families and caregivers, the financial burden of treating such diseases is estimated to cost Canadians $30 billion annually.
Video by Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program www.cerc.gc.ca and used under fair use
The Centre for Applied Neurogenetics (CAN) is focused on neurologic disease and maintaining brain health. Such disease-orientated translational research is essential to maintain Canada’s position at the leading edge of public health policy. The program has relevance for people of all ages, to relieve the heavy burden brain diseases place on individual families, health care systems and patients themselves.
Dr. Farrer has established a CAN, the nidus of an international consortium of clinicians and scientists with a common ambition, to predict and prevent neurodegeneration. Building on his earlier successes in studying Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Farrer’s work and CAN is headed towards research breakthroughs and approaches to treatment, while defining the relatively new field of neurogenetics. Through academic and industrial partnerships, the CAN team are exploiting genetic insights to develop models and cell-based assays for future pharmaceutical development. In the process, CAN is training the next generation of clinicians and scientists to excel in genetics, neurology, neuropsychiatry and neuroscience.