What if Alzheimer's and dementia could be treated, or even prevented?

September 23, 2020

Sunnybrook’s Dr. Sandra Black Centre for Brain Resilience & Recovery is a unique centre dedicated to answering this very question.

Just launched with a $10-million anonymous lead gift, and named in honour of renowned neurologist Dr. Sandra Black, the centre builds on years of research and unites Sunnybrook’s top dementia experts to attack Alzheimer’s and dementia from multiple angles. From investigating biology, therapeutics and risk factors to crunching big data, Dr. Black will lead this one-of-a-kind program that specializes in uncovering the relationship between the brain’s microvasculature — the complex, intricate network of small blood vessels — and dementia.

Understanding what factors drive Alzheimer’s

Some people live through old age without ever showing symptoms of dementia. Then upon autopsy, scientists find that their brains are actually quite damaged and they should have shown severe symptoms. But why? This centre will seek to improve our understanding of the reasons why some people might be more resistant than others to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Uncovering the most promising treatments

We’ll test the most advanced theories of what causes common dementias, and work diligently to develop and deploy the most promising treatments.

Promoting health-system change

Our team will analyze data from across the province, work to optimize new and existing tests (such as imaging and blood tests that are just becoming available), and collaborate to develop guidelines for their clinical use.

Fostering knowledge exchange

As an academic health sciences centre, Sunnybrook is dedicated to fostering collaboration, helping train the next generation of clinicians, researchers and health-care professionals, and promoting international scientific exchange.

Donor support drives research

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, donor support helps Sunnybrook continue fighting back against another threat to global health: Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Thanks to this gift, Dr. Black’s team will have the steady stream of resources they need to be able to conduct longer-term, high-impact research on an accelerated timeline.

We’re tremendously excited to see what Dr. Black and her team can accomplish with the new centre.

Learn more about this unique centre.