Canada Invests $38.3M in Brain Health Research, With BrightFocus Support

  • Press Release
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CLARKSBURG, MD—BrightFocus Foundation is pleased to announce its support of a new five-year research initiative in Canada that will study the aging brain and identify how to reduce the risks of dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment. 

The Canadian government announced it will invest $38.3 million over five years through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Aging for a new Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging Research Initiative.  

This new initiative will support the latest areas of research to study the brain as it ages. Through the development and launch of strategic funding opportunities, the initiative also aims to improve the care and services for people living with cognitive impairment, including dementia, and improve the well-being of their caregivers and care providers. 

BrightFocus will support the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Excellence, Diversity, and Independence Early Career Transition Award in the categories of brain health and vision diseases. These awards will provide early-career support to researchers from specific underrepresented groups studying treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. 

“We are excited for the opportunity to contribute to this exciting brain and vision research initiative, and applaud CIHR on its commitment to supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the research system through awards such as this one,” said Diane Bovenkamp, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Affairs. 

Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death worldwide, with more than 10 million new cases every year, according to the World Health Organization. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.  

“We are proud to support this extraordinary research initiative to address aging and brain health,” said Stacy Pagos Haller, President and CEO. “This collaboration brings together government and nonprofit partners to unlock new ways to reduce dementia’s prevalence and improve access to care services."  

Over its nearly 50-year history, BrightFocus has forged a global network dedicated to deepening collective expertise on Alzheimer’s disease research and public education. In addition to funding research across 25 countries, the Foundation partners with leading European research institutes to further Alzheimer’s disease research globally and educate millions of people on the disease. BrightFocus helped established international funding partners in the Netherlands (1993), Germany (1995), Belgium (1995), and France (2005) to broaden philanthropic support for Alzheimer’s research.

Read press release from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


About BrightFocus Foundation 

BrightFocus Foundation is a premier nonprofit funder of research to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Through its flagship research programs—Alzheimer’s Disease Research, National Glaucoma Research, and Macular Degeneration Research—the Foundation is currently supporting a $75 million portfolio of 287 scientific projects worldwide. BrightFocus has awarded nearly $275 million in groundbreaking research funding over the past 50 years and shares the latest research findings, expert information, and English/Spanish disease resources to empower the millions impacted by these devastating diseases.  Learn more at

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