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$5M supports research into neurodegenerative diseases


London, ON – A $5-million gift to Western University will be devoted to supporting researchers studying neurodegenerative diseases. The funding will be used to advance a special five-year study, led by Dr. Michael J. Strong, Dean of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and principal investigator of the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative.

The funding was provided by Jim and Louise Temerty and the Temerty Family Foundation to advance discoveries in the prevention, early detection and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and vascular cognitive impairment.

“Never before, either here or worldwide, have experts in seemingly diverse diseases come together into a single collaboration to understand the basis, commonalities and distinguishing characteristics of these devastating disorders,” said Dr. Strong. “Our ultimate goal is to determine if, by studying the disease as a component of a larger whole, we can develop early treatment strategies long before the disease fully takes hold.”

The gift also leverages matching funds from the Ontario Brain Institute to support the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative, which brings together nearly 100 clinicians, scientists and researchers from across Ontario with expertise in neurodegeneration with the mandate to investigate brain disorders that lead to impairments in memory and cognition.