Western University Gets $5 Million for Neurodegenerative Disease Study

in London, Ontario, has announced a $5 million gift from Jim and Louise Temerty and the Temerty Family Foundation to advance discoveries in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Awarded to the university's , the gift will support a five-year study, to be led by Michael J. Strong, dean of the school and principal investigator at the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative, of various neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and vascular cognitive impairment. The gift also will leverage matching funds from the in support of the initiative, which will bring clinicians, scientists, and researchers from across Ontario together to investigate brain disorders that lead to impairments in memory and cognition.

"Never before, either here or worldwide, have experts in seemingly diverse diseases come together into a single collaboration to understand the basis, commonalities, and distinguishing characteristics of these devastating disorders," said Strong. "Our ultimate goal is to determine if, by studying the disease as a component of a larger whole, we can develop early treatment strategies long before the disease fully takes hold."

"We've got all these people doing all of this research and some of it is overlapping," said Jim Temerty, founder and board chair of Northland Power, Inc., whose mother had ALS. "If only we could combine those efforts, and avoid redundancy in the work, the multiplying effect would be incredible. We could use those linkages, as well as the wonderful resources across the province, to keep addressing new and new and new, adding and adding to the knowledge."

"." Western University Press Release 08/11/2014. "." Western University News 08/11/2014.