More than half a million older Canadians live with some form of dementia-and this number is increasing rapidly as our population ages. Drugs have so far offered little hope for improving the cognitive state of those with dementia.
Dr. Zahra Kazem-Moussavi, Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering, has discovered that non-pharmaceutical treatments, such as electromagnetic therapy, are more effective when they are applied at early stages of disease as personalized treatments. Now, she and her research team are using engineering-driven methods to diagnose dementia subtypes at the onset of symptoms. To enable optimized, personalized, non-pharmaceutical treatments, she and her research team are working to predict a patient’s response to a particular treatment based on their type of dementia and its severity as well as the presence of concurrent diseases. Kazem-Moussavi’s research will unlock some of the mysteries that surround how patients respond to different treatments and pave the way for more effective, personalized treatment options.