The Golden Age is not shiny for everyone: more than one Canadian senior in eleven is suffering from dementia, largely due to Alzheimer's disease, the risk of which increases with age. Misfortunes seldom come alone, and so cases involving only Alzheimer's account for less than a third of all dementia; more often than not, other comorbidities - for example, cerebrovascular diseases - are also present, confusing the clinical presentation and diagnosis, and making management more complex.
My research program aims to identify subgroups of individuals who share the same risk characteristics, comorbidities, and trajectories of progression to Alzheimer's disease. I propose to use sophisticated magnetic resonance image analysis techniques to identify these subgroups, and ultimately construct a mathematical model that will clearly identify the profile of a new individual, establish the probability of developing dementia, and predict decline over time. Such a model will be useful for patients, clinicians and basic scientists alike, on the one hand to manage disease symptoms, and on the other facilitate the search for new therapies tailored to individual characteristics.