Aging

Shared decision-making at the end of life: Including the voices of people with dementia


Recent debates about palliative end-of-life (EOL) care and legalized assisted dying have stimulated new questions about EOL care for those living with dementia. However, when discussing preferences for EOL care, individuals with dementia are often excluded from the decision-making process, leaving decision making to family members and/or care providers. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Assessment of melanotransferrin as an Alzheimer's disease biomarker

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research/The Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Advice seeking networks in residential long-term care

Co-investigator: Jennifer Baumbusch


Issue: In healthcare, social network analysis is often used to explore patterns of interaction between individuals within a single organization. Much less is known about the social (advice-seeking) structure between healthcare facilities, and between nursing homes, there is almost no information. For example, are nursing home leaders in touch with each other? Do the leaders of different nursing homes share ideas about quality improvement or other innovations?

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2014
Health Category: 

Novel approaches to enhance mobility of older adults: Targeting injury prevention, movement energetics, and physical activity

Mobility is a key component of health and is necessary for older adults to maintain independent functioning and autonomy. Unfortunately, 30-40% of older adults report mobility limitations, which have profound impacts on independence and quality of life; they are a precursor to mobility disability and increased dependence in activities of daily living, entry into nursing homes, and mortality. Limitations to mobility result from acute events, such as fall-related injuries, and chronic processes, such as high energetic costs of movement and lack of physical activity.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2014
Health Category: 

Molecular determinants of small airway obstruction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of mortality and attributes to increased health care costs in Canada due to its prevalence and a lack of disease-modifying therapies. COPD is characterized by irreversible lung function decline that is caused by destruction of lung elastic tissue and obstruction of the small airways, which allow airflow in and out of the lungs. In COPD, these lesions are produced in response to repetitive inhalational injury inflicted by smoke exposure but the mechanisms are unknown. Dr.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2014
Health Category: 

Unique contributors to caregiver well-being across neurodegenerative diseases that present with dementia

Five million new cases of dementia are diagnosed every year worldwide. These diagnoses disrupt home environment patterns and relationships and cause  repercussions on families. Accordingly, dementia caregivers experience higher stress than other groups and face diverse care demands. Existing literature suggests dementia presentation may impart different caregiver challenges: cognition in Alzheimer’s disease (AD); delusions in Dementia with Lewy Body (DLB); and neuropsychiatry in Parkinson’s disease associated dementia (PDD).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2013

Screening and development of molecules targeting presynaptic SNARE protein-protein interactions as novel pharmacological strategy in schizophrenia and other mental illnesses

Screening and development of molecules targeting presynaptic SNARE protein-protein interactions as novel pharmacological strategy in schizophrenia and other mental illnesses Schizophrenia is one of the major disabling mental disorders with a worldwide prevalence of about one percent. Although the cause  of schizophrenia remains unclear, converging data indicate that dysfunctions altering neurotransmitter levels in the synaptic cleft, the tiny space between nerve cells in which nerve impulses are conducted, might be at the core of this disorder.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2013
Health Category: 

Examining executive functions as mediators of a mental and social enrichment intervention for older adults with chronic stroke

Significant proportions of stroke survivors suffer long-term physical disability and are predisposed to sedentary lifestyles. This limits their performance of activities necessary for independent living in the community and contributes to increased risk for recurrent stroke and heart disease. Dr. John Best recognizes that intervention strategies are needed to motivate stroke survivors to engage in routine physical activity and to optimize their physical and motor functions.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2013
Health Category: 

Psycho-social predictors of physical activity in community-dwelling and vulnerable seniors: Linking daily life processes with long-term health outcomes

Canada is an aging society, and the proportion of Canadians older than 65 is estimated to double within the next 10 years. It is well known that aging is associated with declining health, but there is also tremendous variability in aging outcomes. While physical activity can reduce the risk of many age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, Canadian seniors have low rates of physical activity.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2012
Health Category: 

Generation of a humanized mouse xenotransplant model of myelodysplastic syndrome

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are diseases of the blood and bone marrow. MDS originate when a stem cell, from which all other blood cells originate, becomes mutated and then overgrows and crowds out other cells. This results in reduced numbers of red cells (anemia), white cells (leukopenia) and platelets (thrombocytopenia) circulating in the blood. As the disease progresses, bone marrow may completely fail to produce normal cells, and the myelodysplastic stem cell may develop into cancer, Acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2011
Partners: 
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Mitigation of hippocampal dysfunction and cognitive deficits in early-symptomatic YAC128 transgenic mice for Huntington's disease

Huntington's disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder affecting between three and 10 individuals per 100,000 in the Western world. It is caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene, which results in the accumulation of mutated huntingtin protein in the brain and the eventual degeneration of certain types of brain cells. The disease is primarily characterized by the onset of motor deficits; this develops when the striatum region deep within the brain begins to degenerate.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2011
Health Category: 

Effects of Adult Aging on Neural Control and Muscle Fatigue

Individuals 65 years of age and older constitute the fastest growing age group in Canada. With natural adult aging, the neuromuscular system (the muscles of the body and the nerves that supply them) undergo degenerative changes that are characterized by reductions in strength and power due to decreased muscle size. This age-related muscle weakness and overall decline in muscle function is referred to as sarcopenia.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2011
Health Category: 

Outcome-based Performance Metrics in Canadian Health Care: Moving from "How Many" to "How Well"

Performance in the health sector has conventionally been viewed in terms of volumes, such as the number of additional surgeries that were performed in a given year. Unfortunately, health status and outcomes are not routinely assessed in Canada. This is a substantive concern — imagine the case where your car manufacturer's performance metric did not include car safety and performance but merely focused on production volume.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2011
Health Category: 

Culturally safe dementia care: Building nursing capacity to work with First Nations elders with memory loss

This community-based research project will build capacity amongst nurses to care for First Nations Elders with memory loss in a culturally safe way. The objectives are:

  1. To translate First Nations perspectives on dementia  research findings into a knowledge translation intervention for front-line nursing staff based on traditional storytelling with Elders;
  2. To determine the knowledge, skills and values of nursing staff with respect to cultural safety and dementia care before and after the traditional storytelling intervention; and
  3. To assess the effectiveness of the KT intervention in terms of changing nursing practice and improving care for First Nations Elders with memory loss.
Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2010
Health Category: 

Impacts of a Palliative Approach for Nursing (IPAN)

This practice-relevant nursing health services research initiative will address the questions:

  1. How and in which contexts can a palliative approach better meet the needs of patients with a life-limiting illness and their family members?
  2. How can a palliative approach guide the development of innovations in health care delivery systems to better support nursing practice and the health system in British Columbia?
Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2010
Health Category: 

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