Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging (BHCIA) Research Initiative
The Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging (BHCIA) Research Initiative will study the brain as it ages and help identify and reduce the risks of cognitive impairment in aging, in the hopes of improving the care and services for people who have trouble remembering, thinking clearly, learning new things, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. The BHCIA Research Initiative will also support research that aims to improve the wellbeing of the caregivers of people living with cognitive impairment and dementia.
The first two BHCIA funding opportunities launched March 2, 2023:
- The operating grants total $9M, enough to fund approximately twelve (12) grants. They are being offered by the CIHR Institute of Aging (CIHR-IA), in partnership with the Institutes of Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III) and Genetics (CIHR-IG), as well as the Azrieli Foundation and its Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence (CCCE).
- The knowledge synthesis and mobilization grants total $2.0M, which is enough to fund approximately twenty (20) grants. They are offered by CIHR-IA, in partnership with the Institutes of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH), Gender and Health (CIHR-IGH), Genetics (CIHR-IG), the HIV/AIDS and STBBI Research Initiative, as well as the Azrieli Foundation and its CCCE, and the Weston Family Foundation.
Prior to the development of the BHCIA Research Initiative, CIHR’s Institute of Aging (IA) consulted more than 550 stakeholders, including researchers, funding partners, community-based organizations, people living with and impacted by dementia, as well as Indigenous peoples and groups historically excluded from research.
The research will address three overarching goals:
- Creating knowledge about resilience in brain aging, identifying and reducing risks that could result in cognitive impairment and mobilizing knowledge to change approaches to brain health.
- Improving care, programs, and services for people with cognitive impairment and dementia.
- Developing, evaluating, and implementing strategies to improve the health and wellbeing of caregivers and care providers.
New scientific knowledge generated by this investment will be shared widely with aging adults, people who experience cognitive impairment and their families, health care professionals, and policy- and decision-makers, through activities such as workshops, webinars, evidence briefs, and outreach campaigns.
The BHCIA Research Initiative builds upon the successes of previous and ongoing dementia research funded by CIHR and supports the goals of the 2019 national dementia strategy, titled A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together we Aspire, as well as the federal government’s commitment to “promote seniors’ physical and mental health to enable them to live longer at home,” as outlined in the Minister of Health’s Mandate Letter. The effects of dementia and cognitive decline in aging are a major reason that older adults move out of their homes and into long-term care.
Building upon CIHR’s previous Dementia Research Strategy, the BHCIA Research Initiative consists of both international and national components, which together allow the Government of Canada to support world-class research on dementia.
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