Rapid Response 2012

The Rapid Response program provides seed funding for high-risk, high-reward, totally novel ideas. Projects each receive up to $150,000 for up to 18 months of research. Like all programs, applications must be translational research that accelerates the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.

After a rigorous peer-review process, nine grants were awarded to researchers in the Greater Toronto Area. A total of $1.3 million was awarded with researchers using the $100,000 – $150,000 in seed funding to explore ground-breaking advances ranging from new methods of diagnosis to improved therapies.


Rapid Response 2012 Awardees

A methylation study of C9orf72 and the development of a novel diagnostic test

Grantees: Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva , Dr. Janice Robertson , Dr. Carmela Tartaglia , Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati , Dr. Julia Keith , Dr. Lorne Zinman

It was recently recognized that two fatal neurodegenerative diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), belong to the same clinico-pathological spectrum. One of the most significant...


Imaging neuroinflammation in Mild Cognitive Impairment using a novel Translocator Protein 18kDA (TSPO) PET radioligand: [18F]-FEPPA

Grantees: Dr. Romina Mizrahi , Dr. Sylvain Houle , Dr. Bruce Pollock , Dr. Peter St George-Hyslop , Dr. Pablo Rusjan , Dr. Antonio Strafella , Dr. Ivonne Suridjan

A characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the presence of dense deposits of amyloid protein, known as plaques, throughout the brains of afflicted patients. We and others believe that...


MRI-guided focused ultrasound IVIg immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease

Grantees: Dr. Isabelle Aubert , Dr. Kullervo Hynynen , Dr. Bojana Stefanovic , Dr. Sandra Black , Dr. David Andrews , Dr. JoAnne McLaurin , Dr. Donald Branch

In patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), neurons in the brain degenerate and eventually die, leading to deficits in learning and memory. Our research aims to protect neurons and to...


Brain-wide remodeling after stimulation of the fornix in Alzheimer’s disease – towards improved therapeutic efficacy

Grantees: Dr. Mallar Chakravarty

Given the rapidly aging Canadian population, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a growing public health concern with few effective therapies available. Most approved and experimental therapies focus on the clearance...


Can neuroinflammation be used as a biomarker for Parkinson’s disease?

Grantees: Dr. Antonio Strafella , Dr. Anthony E. Lang , Dr. Pablo Rusjan , Dr. Sylvain Houle , Dr. Romina Mizrahi , Dr. Yuko Koshimori

Microglia, a type of cell in the brain, continuously perform repair tasks in response to neurological micro-insults. Activated microglia thus represent an important marker of neuroinflammation. To date, most...


A non-invasive strategy for targeted in vivo gene therapy and immunization in Parkinson’s disease

Grantees: Dr. Anurag Tandon , Dr. Kullervo Hynynen , Dr. Isabelle Aubert , Dr. David Tang-Wai , Dr. Anthony E. Lang

Safe, effective, and non-invasive drug delivery into the brain remains a major challenge for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Our project will evaluate a novel non-invasive approach that relies...


Enhancing neuroplasticity and frontal lobe function in patients with mild Alzheimer disease

Grantees: Dr. Tarek Rajji , Dr. Daniel Blumberger , Dr. Tiffany Chow , Dr. Zafiris Daskalakis , Dr. Benoit Mulsant , Dr. Bruce Pollock , Dr. David Tang-Wai , Dr. Aristotle Voineskos

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. It affects more than half a million Canadians, five million Americans, and billions around the world. These numbers are...


Identification of drugs that can be repurposed to prevent neurodegeneration

Grantees: Dr. David Kaplan , Dr. Freda Miller , Dr. Rima Al-awar

Neurodegenerative disorders represent one of the largest unmet medical needs. One of the characteristics of these disorders is the degeneration or death of axons, the portion of nerves that...


Investigating the effects of stimulating adult hippocampal neurogenesis in an animal model of deep brain stimulation and Alzheimer’s disease

Grantees: Dr. Andres Lozano

Project description We propose to examine the consequences of stimulating the dentate gyrus (DG) on adult hippocampal neurogenesis and memory performance in transgenic Alzheimer’s disease model mice with mutated...