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Workshops & seminars

Reducing Dementia Risk

How will we prevent a dementia epidemic in the future?

Date & time
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free



J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


Fifty-five million people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. This number is expected to keep rising to reach 78 million by 2030. If we don’t act now to slow down this increase, health-care systems around the world will be put under enormous pressure. Most importantly, this would mean more people suffering, either from having the disease or from caring for a loved one affected by it. Knowing that a large portion of Alzheimer’s cases, the most common cause of dementia, can be attributed to modifiable risk factors, there is a lot we can do to dampen this increase, both through lifestyle changes at an individual level and through policy changes at a systemic level.

The panelists will share their expertise on brain health, aging, dementia, and Canadian initiatives for dementia prevention, especially through the use of lifestyle interventions. We will also discuss concrete ways in which these interventions can be implemented and the barriers that must be lifted in order to effectively implement them. Some examples include psychological barriers to changing lifestyle habits, social determinants of health, and health inequities.

How can you participate? Join us in person by registering here or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.

Have questions? Send them to


Natalie Phillips

Dr. Natalie Phillips is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Concordia University, and holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Sensory-Cognitive Health in Aging and Dementia. She is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist.  Dr. Phillips studies the neuropsychology of healthy aging and Alzheimer disease. She examines the relationship between our senses, our cognitive abilities, and language processing in older adults, including those who are bilingual. Dr. Phillips is one of the principal developers of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a cognitive screening instrument used globally for the assessment of mild cognitive impairment. She is the Associate Scientific Director of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA,, which is Canada’s national research consortium on dementia. She is the founding leader of the CCNA Sensory-Cognitive Research Team.

Simon Duchesne

Dr. Simon Duchesne is a professor in the Department of radiology and nuclear medicine at Université Laval and researcher at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute. He is co-director of the Quebec Research Network on Aging and of the Quebec Consortium for the Early Identification of Alzheimer’s Disease. Leader of the Imaging Platform for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, his work focuses on uncovering early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease using brain imaging and machine learning. His main research goal is to develop techniques that would allow the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease to be made earlier, ideally several years before the appearance of clinical symptoms. Early detection would allow earlier intervention, which would mean greater chances that these interventions are effective at slowing down cognitive decline and even preventing Alzheimer’s disease altogether.

Simon Bacon 

Dr. Simon Bacon is a professor in the Department of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at Concordia University and the co-Director of the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, which is based at the CIUSSS-NIM. Currently, Dr. Bacon is the FRQS co-Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Digital Health for Health Behaviour Change and the CIHR SPOR Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials. His research deals with the impact of health behaviours (e.g., physical activity, diet, weight management, stress) on the development and progression of chronic diseases and how to develop and test interventions to help individuals improve these behaviours. His expertise in leveraging behavioural science to develop better strategies for getting people to engage in health-promoting activities (e.g., exercise, ceasing to smoke) will be particularly relevant to the discussion. Why is it so difficult to do what we know is “good for us”? What can be done to facilitate these health behaviour changes?

Saskia Sivananthan

Dr. Saskia Sivananthan is a data scientist and neuroscientist who specializes in public health policy and aging research and is a sought after expert advising at the provincial, federal and international level. Dr. Sivananthan is an affiliate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University, and a former Chief Research & KTE Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In 2020, she was appointed by the Federal Minister of Health to the ministerial advisory board on dementia. Previously, Dr. Sivananthan served as a senior strategy and policy advisor consulting for the World Health Organization (WHO) on its global dementia strategy. She co-drafted the WHO’s Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia. She is also co-lead for the inaugural non-pharmacological interventions working group of the Canadian Consensus Guidelines on Dementia which developed the first Canadian recommendations on psycho-social interventions for the management and treatment of dementia.

Stefanie Tremblay

Stéfanie Tremblay is a Public Scholar and a doctoral candidate in physics who currently investigates brain health using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). She holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Exercise Science. Her research interests are in leveraging multiple MRI techniques to characterize the fiber tracts that connect different brain regions, also known as white matter, in individuals at risk of neurological disorders such as dementia. Her research focuses primarily on developing novel multivariate approaches to analyze MRI images to obtain a more comprehensive view of the impact of various diseases and risk factors on the brain. Her doctoral research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

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