Dr. Beg to be part of Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging

September 10, 2014

Dr. Faisal Beg is one of three Simon Fraser University researchers to be part of Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), a national initiative created to tackle the growing onset of dementia and related illnesses.

Excerpt from University Communications Media Release:

The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), launched today in Montreal, is a collaboration of 20 research teams and over 340 top experts from across Canada who will focus on delaying and preventing these illnesses and improving the quality of life for those inflicted and their caregivers.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and a group of 13 public and private partners are providing $31.5 million in funding over five years for the initiative, which is being led by the Jewish General Hospital and the McGill Memory Clinic.

SFU’s CCNA participants include Faisal Beg, an engineering science professor and co-director of SFU’s Medical Image Analysis Lab; Charles Krieger, of the Brain Research Laboratory, and a professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (BPK); and Andrew Sixsmith, professor and director of the Gerontology Research Centre.

“These researchers, each from a different faculty, bring unique perspectives on dementia to the consortium. Their respective expertise in medical imaging, brain research and gerontology—reflecting SFU’s ‘cell to society’ approach to health research—will contribute meaningfully to this national effort,” says SFU VP Research Joy Johnson.

Beg, a biomedical engineer, is working to develop early diagnostic tools to detect Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. He continues to work with international collaborators to develop computational tools for the analysis of brain images.

“At present there is no reliable way to detect the onset of the disease,” says Beg, who studies signatures in MRI brain scans of people with the disease and compares them with scans of healthy brains. “These tools are increasingly enabling us to learn more about what goes on in the brain leading up to these events.”